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

The Oda G

This song was written by Stanley G. Triggs, who worked as a deckhand on British Columbia tugboats (Canada) in the late 1950s. According to the liner notes for his Folkways album, ‘Bunkhouse and Forecastle Songs of the Northwest’, the Oda G was a tugboat that he worked on, one of the oldest on the coast. 
Questa canzone è stata scritta da Stanley G. Triggs, che ha lavorato come abile marinaio sui rimorchiatori della British Columbia (Canada) alla fine degli anni ’50. Secondo le note di copertina del suo album della Folkways Records, “Bunkhouse and Forecastle Songs of the Northwest“, l’Oda G era un rimorchiatore su cui lavorava, uno dei più vecchi della costa. 

Stanley G. Triggs in Bunkhouse and Forecastle Songs of the Northwest1961

Ed Harcourt in Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013


I
Come all you jolly tugboatmen
And listen unto me
While I tell you a story of hardships and glory
Of a lusty old life on the deep briny sea.
II
There once was a stalwart old tugboat,
Her name was the Oda G. (1)
And I’ll let you know, boys,
at pullin’ a tow, boys,
There was no huskier tugboat than she.
III
She came off the ways in ‘eighty-nine,
For storms she cared not a damn
It was boasted around,
’twas the talk of the town
That she knew that old coastline
as well as a man.
IV
Now her mate was an expert at running the logs
He ne’er seemed to come to no harm/ But he ran out of luck when he fell in the chuck (2)
With a rusty old boom-chain wrapped round his left arm.
V
Her engineer was a lazy young tramp
All day he did nothin’ but read
On the fantail (3) he sat on his young lazy prat
Till a big roarin’ wave swept him into the sea
VI
And her deckhand was paintin’ the bulwarks (4) so fine,
Paintin’ so carefully,
But he met his fate when, to admire his paintin’,
He took a step back and fell into the sea.
VII
Now her skipper, he was very fine man
At seafarin’ he was a pip
But without a crew he didn’t know what to do
So he grabbed up a lifebelt and abandoned the ship.
VIII
But the old Oda G. she kept tuggin’ along
She towed those logs down to Long Bay
And old Penney (5) hurrayed for the money he saved
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Venite voi allegri marinai dei rimorchiatori
ed ascoltatemi,
mentre vi racconto una storia di fatiche e gloria
di una vecchia dura vita in alto mare
II
C’era una volta un vecchio rimorchiatore,
il suo nome era Oda G.
e sappiate, ragazzi,
a trainare, ragazzi,
non c’era rimorchiatore più potente.
III
Venne varata nell’ottantanove,
delle tempeste non le importava un accidente
Si è vantato,
secondo le chiacchiere di città
che conoscesse quella vecchia costa
altrettanto bene di un uomo.
IV
L’ufficiale era un esperto nel far rotolare i tronchi/ non sembrava che gli venisse mai un danno/ ma fu sfortunato a cadere in mare 
con una vecchia catena di sbarramento arrugginita avvolta attorno al braccio sinistro.
V
L’ingegnere era un pigro perdigiorno/ non faceva altro che leggere in continuazione/ sul ponte di coperta si sedeva con il giovane pigro culo e una grande onda forte lo trascinò in mare
VI
L’Abile Marinaio stava dipingendo le murate tanto bene,/ dipingendo con attenzione,/ ma andò incontro al suo destino quando, per ammirare la sua pittura,/ fece un passo indietro e cadde in mare.
VII
Il comandante, era un uomo eccellente,
in mare’era uno tosto,
ma senza un equipaggio non sapeva cosa fare
così afferrò un salvagente e abbandonò la nave.
VIII
Eppure la vecchia Oda G. continuava a camminare
rimorchiò quei tronchi fino a Long Bay
e il vecchio Penney gongolò per i soldi risparmiati

NOTE (from here)
1) essendo il rimorchiatore una nave è di genere femminile così il nome
2) ‘chuck’, meaning water, is heard only in the Northwest. It comes from the Chinook jargon used in early trading. [“chuck”, che significa acqua, si sente solo nel nord-ovest. Viene dal gergo Chinook usato nei primi commerci con gli indiani.]
3) The fantail is the extreme aft (back) of the boat. On a tugboat, the aft deck is low to the water, to allow a clear run for the towlines to the winch. The fantail would be a quiet place to read, being as far as you can get on a tugboat from the sound of the engines (and the engineer’s job). [Il ponte di coperta è la parte posteriore (poppa) della barca. Su un rimorchiatore, il ponte di poppa è basso a pelo dell’acqua, per consentire una corsa libera alla catena di traino dell’argano. Di certo un posto tranquillo dove leggere, essendo il più lontano possibile dal rumore dei motori (e del lavoro dell’ingegnere).]
4) Tugboats have a narrow ledge, just wide enough to stand on, around the outside of the bulwarks (the solid ‘railing’ around the outside of the boat). You can do this by leaning sideways rather than forward to paint. You must constantly resist the impulse to take a step back to paint the way you would normally, because there is nothing behind you but air and water. [I rimorchiatori hanno una stretta sporgenza, appena larga abbastanza da stare in piedi, attorno alla murata (la solida “ringhiera” attorno alla parte esterna della barca).  Devi costantemente resistere all’impulso di fare un passo indietro per dipingere come faresti normalmente, perché non c’è niente dietro di te, solo aria e acqua.]
5) the owner [il proprietario]

LINK
http://www.shantynet.com/lyrics/the-oda-g/
http://maritimefolknet.org/cds-from-maritime-folknet/tugboat-cd/the-oda-g/

http://cfmb.icaap.org/content/30.1/BV30-1art3.pdf
http://cfmb.icaap.org/content/30.1/BV30-1art4.pdf

River Come Down (Bamboo)

Not a traditional Caribbean song but written by Dave van Ronk who has recorded this song as ‘River Come Down’ on his 1961 Folkways album FA 2383 called ‘Van Ronk Sings Earthy Ballads And Blues’. A rewrite of “River, river she come down” by Dick Weissman. Covered by Peter, Paul & Mary, Ry Cooder (naming it ‘River Come Down Aka Bamboo‘) 
The only song I ever wrote that made me any money, and I hate it. It started out as a guitar exercise, but since I usually taught songs in those days, I needed lyrics. Vaguely remembering a piece that Dick Weissman used to do on the banjo, I carelessly flung together some nonsensical doggerel and used Dick’s chorus – “River, river she come down.” My students seemed happy enough, and that should have been that, except that Peter, Paul & Mary, who were in the process of getting their act together, took a fancy to it. Renamed ‘Bamboo,’ PP&M performed it on their first album, which sold seven trillion copies. Particularly embarrassing was the way some of the pop music critics homed in on the lyrics. I cringed when they called them ‘surrealist.’ One erudite soul (I forget who) compared them with Garcia Lorca. Fortunately, the Muzak version was an instrumental. I shared the royalties (and the chagrin) with Dick.’ (from Dave’s liner notes to The Folkways Years 1969-61)” (from here)
Non è una canzone caraibica tradizionale, ma è stata scritta da Dave van Ronk che ha registrato questa canzone come “River Come Down” nel suo album intitolato “Van Ronk Sings Earthy Ballads And Blues” (1961). Una riscrittura della”River, river she come down” di Dick Weissman. Fatta come cover anche da Peter, Paul & Mary e Ry Cooder (“River Come Down Aka Bamboo”)
L’unica canzone che abbia mai scritto che mi ha fatto guadagnare dei soldi. L’ho cominciata come un esercizio di chitarra, ma dato che in quei giorni solitamente insegnavo canzoni, avevo bisogno di testi. Ricordando vagamente un pezzo che Dick Weissman faceva sul banjo, ho sbadatamente buttato giù delle  battute senza senso e ho usato il coro di Dick – “River, river she come down”. I miei studenti sembravano abbastanza felici, e sarebbe finita lì, sennonchè è piaciuta a Peter, Paul e Mary, che stavano per suonare insieme. Intitolandola ‘Bamboo’, PP & M la eseguirono nel loro primo album, che ha venduto sette trilioni di copie. Particolarmente imbarazzante il modo in cui alcuni critici della musica pop si sono concentrati sui testi. Un’anima erudita (ho dimenticato chi) li ha paragonati a Garcia Lorca, ma fortunatamente la versione Muzak è stata strumentale. Ho condiviso i diritti d’autore (e il dispiacere) con Dick. ” (dalle note di copertina di Dave a “The Folkways Years 1969-61”)

Dick Weissman vs Dave van Ronk

The Journeymen (John Phillips, Scott McKenzie, Dick Weissman)) 1961


Chorus
River oh river She come down
River oh river She come down
I (x2)
My gal’s across the river,
my gal’s across the river
My gal’s across the river,
Won’t you come over
Head on, won’t you come home
II
Build a raft of bamboo,
Build a raft of bamboo
Build a raft of bamboo
Float it across the river
Head on, float it across the river
III
Floating across the river
Floating across the river
Floating across the river
See her come over
Head on, see her come over
IV
Will dance on the bank side
Will dance on the bank side
Will dance on the bank side
Glad you come over
Head on, glad you came over
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
Coro
Fiume, oh fiume lei scende 
Fiume, oh fiume lei scende 
I
La mia ragazza è sul fiume
La mia ragazza è sul fiume
La mia ragazza è sul fiume
non passerai,
a testa alta verso casa?
II
Costruisci una zattera di bamboo,
Costruisci una zattera di bamboo,
Costruisci una zattera di bamboo,
falla galleggiare sul fiume
a testa alta, falla galleggiare sul fiume
III
Galleggiare sul fiume,
Galleggiare sul fiume,
Galleggiare sul fiume,
guardala passare,
a testa alta, guardala passare
IV
Balleremo sugli argini
Balleremo sugli argini
Balleremo sugli argini
sono contento che tu sia venuta
a testa alta, sono contento che tu sia venuta

Dave van Ronk in “Van Ronk Sings” album (1961)

Son Of Rogues Gallery

Beth Orton in Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013


I (x2)
You take a stick of bamboo,
you take a stick of bamboo
You take a stick of bamboo
and you throw it in the water
Oh oh Hanaah (1)
Chorus
River oh river
She come down
River oh river
She come down
II (x2)
You travel on the river,
you travel on the river
You travel on the river,
you travel on the water
Oh oh Hanaah
III (x2)
My home’s across the river,
my home’s across the river
My home’s across the river,
my home’s across the water
Oh oh Hanaah
Traduzione italiana Cattia Salto
I
Prendi un bastone di bamboo,
prendi un bastoni di bamboo
prendi un bastone di bamboo
e gettalo in acqua
oh, oh Hanaah
Coro
Fiume, oh fiume
lei scende (tramonta)
Fiume, oh fiume
lei scende (tramonta)
II
Viaggi sul fiume,
viaggi sul fiume
viaggi sul fiume
viaggi sull’acqua
oh, oh Hanaah
III
La mia casa è sul fiume
La mia casa è sul fiume
La mia casa è sul fiume
La mia casa è sull’acqua
oh, oh Hanaah

NOTE
1) the sun (see go down, old Hannah)

LINK
http://www.alwaysontherun.net/beth.htm
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=7273

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 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

The Ship in Distress sea ballad

Leggi in italiano

“You Seamen Bold” or “The Ship in Distress” is a sea song that tries to describe the horrors suffered on a ship adrift in the ocean and without more food on board. Probably the origin begins with a Portuguese ballad of the sixteenth century (in the golden age of the Portuguese vessels), taken from the French tradition with the title La Corte Paille.

This further version was very popular in the south of England
A. L. Lloyd writes ‘The story of the ship adrift, with its crew reduced to cannibalism but rescued in the nick of time, has a fascination for makers of sea legends. Cecil Sharp, who collected more than a thousand songs from Somerset, considered The Ship in Distress to be the grandest tune he had found in that country.’ (from here)
Louis Killen

Martin Carhty & Dave Swarbrick from But Two Came By 1968Marc Almond from Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013

I
You seamen bold who plough the ocean
See dangers landsmen never know.
It’s not for honour and promotion;
No tongue can tell what they undergo.
In the blusterous wind and the great dark water
Our ship went drifting on the sea,
Her rigging (1) gone, and her rudder broken,
Which brought us to extremity (2).
II
For fourteen days, heartsore and hungry,
Seeing but wild water and bitter sky,
Poor fellows, they stood in a totter,
A-casting lots as to which should die.
The lot (3) it fell on Robert Jackson,
Whose family was so very great.
‘I’m free to die, but oh, my comrades,
Let me keep look-out till the break of day.’
III
A full-dressed ship like the sun a-glittering(4)
Came bearing down to their relief.
As soon as this glad news was shouted,
It banished all their care and grief.
The ship brought to, no longer drifting,
Safe in Saint Vincent, Cape Verde, she gained.
You seamen all, who hear my story,
Pray you’ll never suffer the like again (5).

NOTES
1) Marc say  headgear
2) extremity: bring to the extremes to be intended also in a moral sense
3 )the one who pulled the shorter straw was the “winner”, and sacrificed himself for the benefit of the survivors, this practice was called  ”the custom of the sea”: to leave the choice of the sacrificial victim to fate, it excluded the murder by necessity from being a premeditated murder
4) the juxtaposition between the two verses with the man ready for the sacrifice and sighting at dawn of the ship that will rescue them, it wants to mitigate the harsh reality of cannibalism, a horrible practice to say but that is always lurking in the moments of desperation and as an extreme resource for survival. In reality we do not know if the ship was only dreamed of by the sacrificial victim.
5) surviving sailors rarely resume the sea after the cases of cannibalism (see for example the Essex whaling story). In 1884 an English court condemned two of the three sailors of the “Mignonette” yacht who had killed Richard Parker, the 17-year-old cabin boy (the third had immunity because he agreed to testify); the death sentence was commuted at a later time in six months in prison. A curious case is that Edgar Allan Poe in 1838 in “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket ” tells of four survivors forced into a lifeboat who decide to rely on the “law of the sea”, the cabin boy that pulled the shorter straw was called Richard Parker!

Little Boy Billy
The Banks of Newfoundland

LINK
https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/theshipindistress.html
http://www.mustrad.org.uk/songbook/sea_bold.htm
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=22872
https://anglofolksongs.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/the-ship-in-distress/
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/anche-i-cannibali-hanno-un-cuoree-se-lo-mangiano-luca-luca-nave
http://www.canestrinilex.com/risorse/dudley-and-stephens-case-1884-mignonette/

Asshole Rules the Navy

Leggi in italiano

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

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

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

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


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

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

NOTES
1) or Backside
2) our own way

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

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

Go to sea once more

Leggi in italiano

“Go to sea once more”, an “American / English forebitter” (Stan Hugill) was the favorite song among the whale hunters.
In the song the sailor regrets being forced to go to sea again, because he has already spent all the money just earned, getting drunk he was robbed by a whore. The song is paired with “Holy Ground once more” with which it shares the tune and some verses.
Aka GO TO SEA NO MORE, OFF TO SEA ONCE MORE, JACKIE BROWN, SHANGHAI BROWN.

RAPPER BROWN

Italo Ottonellowrites “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, was paid in the form of a promissory note, payable three days later that the ship had left the port, “if a sailor is sailed with that ship.” Everyone invariably ran to look for some complacent sharks who bought their promissory notes at a discounted price, usually forty percent, with much of the amount provided in kind. “The purchasers, boarding prosecutors 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 the advances.
So behind the story there is probably the hand of the “sailor boarding-house master” that hired the thieves to rob the drunken sailors or put in league with some whore, all well-tested systems to peel the careless sailor just landed (see).
The authorities also closed an eye because the merchant companies made it convenient to have manpower always available for the hardest jobs (like the whaling ship) and the most unfavorable routes as those of the Arctic seas.

whale-ship

The Byrds record it with the title of “Jack Tarr The Sailor“. In some versions it is sung on the air of Greensleeves.

the Dubliners

Jerry Garcia & David Grisman from “Grateful Dawg” 1990

Ryan’s Fancy from “Songs From The Shows” 2001

Macy Gray from Son of Rogues Gallery Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys ANTI 2013,  a raspy voice, between soul and swing,

GO TO SEA NO MORE
I
When first I landed in Liverpool(1),
I went upon a spree
Me money alas I spent it fast,
got drunk as drunk could be
And when that me money was all gone, ‘twas then I wanted more
But a man must be blind
to make up his mind
to go to sea once more
CHORUS
Once more, boys, once more,
go to sea once more

II
I spent the night with Angeline(2)
too drunk to roll in bed
Me watch was new
and me money too,
in the morning with them she fled
And as I walked the streets about,
the whores they all did roar
“There goes Jack Strapp(3),
the poor sailor lad,
he must go to sea once more”
III
And as I walked the streets about,
I met with the Rapper Brown(4)
I asked him for to take me on
and he looked at me with a frown
He said “last time you was paid off
with me you could no score
But I’ll give you a chance
and I’ll take your advance
and I’ll send you to see once more”
IV
He shipped me on board
of a whaling ship(5)
bound for the arctic seas(6)
Where the cold winds blow
through the frost and snow
and Jamaica rum would freeze(7)
But worse to bear,
I’d no hard weather gear(8)
for I’d spent all money on shore
‘twas then that I wished
that I was dead
and could go to sea no more
V
So come all you bold seafaring men, who listen to me song
When you come off them long trips,
I’ll have you not go wrong
Take my advice, drink no strong drink, don’t go sleeping with them whores
Get married instead
and spend all night in bed
and go to sea no more

NOTES
1) in american version Frisco
2) or Last night I slept with Angeline
3) or Jack Sprad
4) Jack Ratcliff or Jackie Brown; in the American version it becomes Shanghai Brown famous in the city of San Francisco. The verb shanghaiing was coined around the mid-1800s to indicate the practice, much in vogue on American and British merchant ships, of violent or fraudulent conscription of  sailor. The shanghaiing was practiced above all 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. So  Al Lloyd writes in Leviathan (1967) Who was Rapper Brown, the villain of the piece? Particularly during the latter days of sail, many lodging house keepers encouraged seamen to fall in debt to them, then signed them aboard a hardcase ship in return for the “advance note” loaned by the company to the sailor ostensibly to buy gear for the voyage. Paddy West of Great Howard Street, Liverpool, was well-known for this, likewise John da Costa of the same seaport. But we do not find Rapper Brown in this rogues’ gallery. Perhaps there’s some confusion here with the fearsome Shangai Brown of San Francisco, through whose ministrations many a British seaman awoke from a drunken or drugged sleep do find himself aboard a vessel for the bowhead whaling grounds of the Bering Sea, a trip few men in their senses signed for, unless desperately hard pushed”.


Shanghaied5)  whaler bark (barque) or whaler pack
6) the Arctic routes were the most feared by sailors, often the ships were trapped in the ice.
7)or Jamaica rum ‘twas free I think there is a hint of humor in the sentence and that means that the Jamaican rum was not found
8) or I’d no oilskins 

LINK
http://www.sfmuseum.org/hist11/sailors.html http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/offtoseaoncemore.html http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=72360 http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.it/2012/05/49-go-to-sea-once-more.html
http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/11/tosea.htm http://mysongbook.de/msb/songs/g/gotosean.html http://www.loc.gov/item/sm1849.461970/

Then Said the Captain to Me by Harry Kemp

“Then Said the Captain to Me” è il brano che chiude la seconda tornata del progetto  “Rouge Gallery”.
Hal Willner aveva convocato la canadese, talentuosa figlia d’arte Mary Margaret O’Hara, lasciandola a leggere il libro di poesie di Harry Kemp , e lei alla fine della giornata  si è messa a canticchiare una melodia sul breve testo che più l’aveva colpita, con la band che le è andata dietro come nelle migliori free session.. e così hanno registrato.

ASCOLTA Mary Margaret O’Hara in Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013 (su spotify)
La prima poesia s’intitola “Then” e viene ripetuta tre volte, la seconda poesia è ” Said the Captain to Me” che chiude la canzone con il parlato


THEN
When all the sea’s high ships
have dropped beyond my sky
and life’s trumpet leaves my lips
and women pass me by-
Dear God, let me die
Dear God, let me die


SAID THE CAPTAIN TO ME
“Nothing but damn fools sail the sea”
Said the Captain to me.
“I have a young son –
Said the Captain to me-
I’m damned if ever shall sail the sea!”
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
Poi
Quando tutte le navi a vela del mare
sono cadute al di là del mio cielo
e la tromba della vita lascia le mie labbra e le donne m’ignorano
Buon Dio, lasciami morire
Buon Dio, lasciami morire


Mi disse il capitano
“Solo i pazzi solcano il mare”
mi disse il Capitano
“Ho un figlio giovane
mi disse il Capitano-
e che io sia dannato se dovesse solcare il mare!

Chantey of Noah and his Ark by Harry Kemp

Prima di arrivare alla poesia di Harry Kemp sull’arca di Noè vorrei passare per i canti d’osteria italiani e le canzoni marinaresche britannoamericane: il biblico Noè è un personaggio popolare nelle canzoni tradizionali, gli italiani lo ringraziano per essere stato l'”inventore” del vino.
Ecco la versione demenziale dei Gufi! Che tra una battuta e l’altra cantano: “Viva Noè!!”

La barba di Noè è lunga un metro e 33..

Parte Prima (1)
I
Viva Noè!
Il gran patriarca
salvato dall’arca
sapete perchè?
Ei fu l’inventore
del dolce liquore
del dolce liquore
che allegri ci fa.
II 
Bevevano i nostri padri? Si!
Bevevano le nostre madri? Si!
E noi che figli siamo,
beviam, beviam, beviamo!
Del bianco moscatello
del rosso grignolino
ne avessi un botticello
vorrei vedere la fin!
Parte Seconda
I
Gin (2), Gin, porta un quartin,
porta da bere, porta da bere
Gin Gin porta un quartin,
porta da bere un po’ di vin
II
Io l’ho bevuto tutto
e non mi ha fatto male
l’acqua si che fa male,
il vino fa cantare

Parte Terza
Questa è la regola
che seguono gli italici
alzino i calici, vuotino i bicchieri
I
Se ti viene il mal di denti
non far uso di calmanti
bevi bevi del buon Chianti
ed il mal ti passera’
II
se ti viene il mal di cuore
non far uso di strofanto (3)
bevi bevi del Vin santo
ed il mal ti passera’
III
se ti viene il raffreddore
non uscire mai di sera
bevi bevi del Barbera
ed il mal ti passera’
IV
se ti viene il mal di gola
non far uso di mentolo
bevi bevi del Barolo
ed il mal ti passera’
V
se ti viene il mal di pancia
non andare in farmacia
bevi tanta Malvasia
ed il mal ti passera’
VI
per gli uomini dabbene
generoso il vin si versi
l’acqua e’ fatta pei perversi
e il diluvio lo provo’!!

NOTE
(1) per la versione dei Celti di Vercelli vedasi qui
(2) Gin è il diminutivo di Luigina l’ostessa che è esortata a portare da bere ai poveri assetati!
(3) lo strofanto è simile alla digitale nei suoi usi medicali)

VERSIONE SEA SHANTY


Con il titolo di “In Frisco Bay” ma anche “Noah’s Ark Shanty”  troviamo una variante del canto marinaresco “A long Time ago“, lo shanty che presenta forse il maggior numero di varianti, grazie alla sua popolarità.


In Frisco Bay there were three ships
To me way, hey, hey-oh
In Frisco Bay there were three ships
A long time ago
And one of them ships
was Noah’s old ark
All covered all o’er
wi’ hickory bark
Noah took two animals of each kind
Noah took two animals of each kind
The bull and the cow
they started to row
The bull and the cow
they started to row
“Right,” said Noah
with a flick of his whip
“Stop on this row
or tha’ll scuttle the ship”
But the bull struck his horn
through the side of the ark
And the little black dog
he started to bark
So Noah took the dog,
shoved its nose up the hole
And ever since then dogs’ nose
has been cold
It’s a long, long time
and a very long time
A long, long time and a very long time
Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
Nella Baia di Frisco c’erano tre navi
a me, hey, hey-oh
Nella Baia di Frisco c’erano tre navi
tanto tempo fa
e una di queste navi
era a vecchia arca di Noè
tutta ricoperta
con tavole di noce americano
Noè prese due animali di ogni specie
Noè prese due animali di ogni specie
il toro e la mucca
iniziarono a remare
il toro e la mucca
iniziarono a remare
“Ok- disse Noè
con una frusta in mano-
smettete di remare
o affonderete la nave”
Ma il toro incornò
il fianco della nave
e il piccolo cane nero
iniziò ad abbaiare.
Cpsì Noè prese il cane
e gli spinse il naso nel buco
e da allora il naso del cane
è diventato freddo
E’ tanto, tanto tempo fa
molto tempo fa,
tanto e molto tempo fa
Arca di Noè (1846) Edward Hicks

Old School Song


E per finire la sea song riportata nella Rogue’s Gallery compilation di Hal Willner, tratta dalla poesia scritta da Harry Kemp (1883-1960).
Ricky Jay in Son Of Rogues Gallery ‘Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys ANTI 2013 (su Spotify) -non mi risulta che sia stata messa in musica da altri

THE CHANTEY OF NOAH AND HIS ARK
Oh, Noah went up to the hills,
a just man and a good,
He built an Ark, the Good Book says,
of pitch and gopher(1) wood;
The children danced before him,
and the grownups laughed behind;
They thought that there was something wrong
with Goodman’ Noah’s mind…
And when they met him
coming back for
needments and supplies,
The dancing girls and dancing men leered, mocking, in his eyes,–
And as he left the town once more
and sought the hillward track,
The boys sent shouts and whistles shrill behind the old man’s back.
Oh, Noah took the animals
and saved them, two by two;
The elephant, the leopard,
and the zebra, and the gnu,
The goose, the ox, the lion,
and the stately unicorn
That breasted up the gangway
with his single, jaunty horn,
The hippogriff, the oryx,–
all created things, in fine,
Till the dim procession straggled
from the far horizon line.
There was neighing, squealing, barking, there was many a snort and squeak,
Every sound that God gives animals because they cannot speak;
And they waddled
and they straddled, and they ambled, and they ran,
And they crawled and traipsed and sidled, each one after nature’s plan.
There was pattering of hooves
and toes and lift of hairy knees–
Oh, it was the greatest cattleboat
that ever sailed the seas…
There was never any showman
ever gave such a parade
As those beasts, that wended Arkward, for the gaping people made;
And Noah’s townsman wished him well who once had wished him ill–
For they hoped he planned
a circus on his solitary hill
Where he’d charge so much admission at the Ark’s red-postered door–
Offering such a show as mankind
never set eyes on before…
But the sky grew dark with thunder throbbing like an angry drum
And the gazers saw with terror that the thing they’d mocked had come,
And that what had seemed a circus marching slowly in parade
Was the end of all creation,
and the world’s last cavalcade.
Oh, the lightning
dangled nearer
like a madman’s rattling chain….
As an army moves to battle
came the growing sound of rain:
And it rained… and rained… and rained… and rained…
As we do understand,
Till the earth was filled with water
and there wasn’t any land!
Oh, Noah was a just man,
a just man and a good…
He built the Ark, the Good Book says, of pitch and gopher wood.

Traduzione italiano di Cattia Salto
Oh Noè salì sulle colline,
un uomo buono e giusto,
costruì un’arca, dice la Bibbia,
di legno resinoso e pece;
i bambini gli ballavano davanti
e gli adulti gli ridevano dietro;
pensavano che c’era qualcosa di sbagliato nel testa
del buonuomo Noè..
E quando lo videro tornare indietro
per i beni di prima necessità e i rifornimenti,
danzatrici e danzatori lanciavano occhiatacce ai suoi occhi-
e mentre lasciava la città ancora una volta per cercare la pista tra le colline
i ragazzi lanciavano grida e fischi acuti dietro alla schiena del vecchio.
Oh Noè prese gli animali
e li salvò in coppie;
l’elefante, il leopardo,
e la zebra e lo gnu,
l’oca, il bue, il leone,
e il maestoso unicorno
che prese di petto la passerella
con il suo corno spavaldo
L’ippogrifo, l’orice –
tutte le cose create,
finchè la vasta processione si allargò
fino al lontano orizzonte.
Chi nitriva, strillava, abbaiava,
c’erano molti sbuffi e squittii,
ogni suono che Dio donò agli animali perché non possono parlare;
E camminavano a paperella e chi a cavalcioni, a passo tranquillo, e di corsa; e chi strisciando o trascinandosi o muovendosi di sghembo, ciascuno secondo la sua natura.
C’erano scalpicii di zoccoli e piedi
e ginocchia pelose che si sollevavano-
Oh, era il miglior battello
che mai navigò in mare…
Mai presentatore diede una simile parata come quella delle bestie, che procedevano verso l’Arca, fatta dai giganti; e il popolo di Noè gli augurò ogni bene, anche chi in passato aveva desiderato il suo male –
perché speravano che progettasse
un circo sulla sua collina solitaria
Dove avrebbe chiesto così tanti biglietti alla porta rossa dell’Arca
per offrire un tale spettacolo che l’umanità non aveva mia visto prima..
Ma il cielo si oscurò con un tuono che pulsava come un tamburo arrabbiato
e i curiosi videro con terrore che la cosa che avevano deriso era arrivata,
e quello che sembrava un circo che marciava lentamente in parata
era la fine di tutta la creazione,
e l’ultima cavalcata del mondo.
Oh, il fulmine penzolava più vicino
come la catena sferragliante di un matto …
Come un esercito si muove in battaglia
venne il suono crescente della pioggia:
E piovve … e piovve … e piovve … e piovve …
come sappiamo,
finché la terra fu piena d’acqua
e non c’era terra!
Oh, Noè era un uomo giusto,
un uomo buono e giusto,
costruì un’arca, dice la Bibbia,
di legno resinoso e pece;

NOTE
1) in ebraico, letteralmente, gofer o gopher, probabilmente dal  babilonese “gushure iş erini” (= “travi di cedro”) 

FONTI
http://duomariposa.blogspot.it/2014/04/gin-gin-porta-n-quartin.html
https://mainlynorfolk.info/cyril.tawney/songs/noahsarkshanty.html
https://www.poetrynook.com/poem/chantey-noah-and-his-ark