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

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

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

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

A fierce song for halyard: Bully in the Alley

Leggi in italiano

“Bully in the Alley” is a halyard shanty with origins referable to the black slaves involved in loading and unloading cotton bales in the ports (cotton screwing).
The bully here is a boozing sailor left in an alley by his still “sober” companions, who will move on to pick him up when returning to the ship.

Shinbone Alley is an alley in New York but also in Bermuda, but metaphorically speaking it is found in every “sailor town”. More generally it is an exotic indication for the Caribbean, the alley of a legendary “pirates den” , where every occasion is good for a fist fight! (first meaning for bully). Or it is the alley of an equally generic port city of the continent full of pubs and cheerful ladies, where if you get drunk, you end up waking up “enlisted” on a warship or a merchant ship (second meaning for bully). So our victim in love with Sally instead of marrying her, he goes to sea!
And finally a last interpretation: a “very good”, or “first rate” sailor (the rooster of the henhouse!)
According to Stan Hugill “Bully in the Alley” has become a seafaring expression to indicate a “stubborn” ship that wants to go in its direction in spite of the helmsman’s intention
This song is nowadays among the most popular “pirate songs”!
Take a look to these bully boys!

Assassin’s creed IV black flag

Chorus
Help me, Bob(1),
I’m bully in the alley,
Way, hey, bully in the alley!
Help me, Bob, I’m bully in the alley, Bully down in “shinbone al“!
I
Sally(2) is the girl that I love dearly,
Way, hey, bully in the alley!
Sally is the girl that I spliced dearly(3),
Bully down in “shinbone al
 II
For seven long years I courted little Sally,
But all she did was dilly and dally(4).
III
I ever get back, I’ll marry little Sally,
Have six kids and live in Shin-bone Alley.

NOTES
1)  God
2) Sally (or Sal) is the generic name of the girls of the Caribbean seas and of South America
3) also written as “Spliced nearly” means “almost married”, and yet the meaning lends itself to sexual allusions
4) to wastetime, especially by being slow, or by not being able to make a decision

Morrigan: Text version identical to the previous one but with an additional stanza before the last closing that says:
“I’ll leave Sal and I’ll become a sailor,
I’ll leave Sal and ship aboard a whaler.”

Three Pruned Men from Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys  ANTI 2006.

Text version identical to the previous one but with a closing stanza that says:


Sally got down and dirty last night,
Sally got down and she spliced (5),
The sailors left last night,
The sailors got a ball of wax (6),
NOTES
5) in slang to splice it means having sex (uniting parts of the body in sexual activity) but also uniting with marriage
6) It is an idiom that means the totality of something; a hypothesis on the origin of the term: This is a form of initiation of freemasons. The freemasons took it from the scarab beetle, which is said to roll a ball of earth, which is a microcosm of the universe. I believe it is thought to spring from the ancient mysteries of Egypt. There was much amateur Egyptology during the 19th and early 20th century. The ball of wax has transcendental meaning. It represents a mystery of human godlike creativity which a person aspiring to the mystery of masonic lore carries with him. In the initiation, the person was given a small ball of earwax or some such, which would represent the cosmos. Reference to this ball of wax was a secret symbol of brotherhood. (from here)

Paddy and the Rats

Short Sharp version

The curators of the project write: “It feels as though this version is far closer to a cotton-screwing chant than the Hugill version. (Carpenter makes a note beside the version from Edward Robinson that it also was for ‘cotton screwing’).  There is only one complete verse and a couple of phrases from Short to Sharp, so the additional words are from Hugill’s version but ignoring location aspects and reworked to fit Short’s significantly different structure” (from here)

Tom Brown in Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor vol 3 ♪ 

I=V
So help me, Bob ,
I’m bully in the alley,
Way, hey, bully in the alley!
Bully down in an alley
Chorus
So help me, Bob, 
I’m bully in the alley,
Way, hey, bully in the alley!
(solo) Bully in Teapot alley
Way, hey, bully in the alley!
II
Sally is the girl down in our alley,
Way, hey, bully in the alley!
Sally is the girl down in our alley,
Way, hey, bully in the alley!
Have you seen on Sally?
Chorus
(solo) I could love her cheerly
Way, hey, bully in the alley!
III
Sally is the girl that I love dearly
Sally is the girl that I love dearly
She is the girl in the alley
Chorus
Oh I’ll spliced to nearly
Way, hey, bully in the alley
IV
I’ll leave my Sally go a sailin’
I’ll leave my Sally go a wailin’
One day I’ll wed Sally
Chorus
Wedding bed my Sally
Way, hey, bully in the alley

LINK
https://terreceltiche.altervista.org/sally-brown/
http://mainlynorfolk.info/watersons/songs/bullyinthealley.html http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/bully-in-the-alley.html http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=31335
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=43912
http://www.umbermusic.co.uk/SSSnotes.htm#bully%20alley

Sally Brown I rolled all night, capstan shanty

Leggi in italiano

In the sea shanties Sally Brown is the stereotype of the cheerful woman of the Caribbean seas, mulatta or creole, with which our sailor  tries to have a good time. Probably of Jamaican origin according to Stan Hugill, it was a popular song in the ports of the West Indies in the 1830s.
The textual and melodic variations are many.

ARCHIVE

WAY, HEY, ROLL AND GO (halyard shanty)
I ROLLED ALL NIGHT(capstan shanty)
ROLL BOYS ROLL
ROLL AND GO (John Short)

SECOND VERSION: I ROLLED ALL NIGHT

In this version the chorus is developed on several lines and the song is classified, also with the title of “Roll and Go”, in the capstan shanty that is the songs performed during the lifting of the anchor.

Planxty live (which not surprisingly chuckle, given the name of the song)

Irish Descendants from Encore: Best of the Irish Descendants


Shipped on board a Liverpool liner,
CHORUS
Way hey roll(1) on board;
Well, I rolled all night
and I rolled all day,
I’m gonna spend my money with (on)
Sally Brown.

Miss Sally Brown is a fine young lady,
She’s tall and she’s dark(2) and she’s not too shady
Her mother doesn’t like the tarry(3) sailor,
She wants her to marry the one-legged captain
Sally wouldn’t marry me so I shipped across the water
And now I am courting Sally’s daughter
I shipped off board a Liverpool liner

NOTE
1) the term is generically used by sailors to say many things, in this context for example could mean “sail”.
2) it could refer to the color of the hair rather than the skin, even if in other versions Sally is identified as creole or mulatto. The term “Creole” can be understood in two exceptions: from the Spanish “crillo”, which originally referred to the first generation born in the “New World”, sons of settlers from Europe (Spain or France) and black slaves. The most common meaning is that which refers to all the black half-bloods of Jamaica from the color of the skin that goes from cream to brown and up to black-blue. In the nineteenth century with this term was also indicated a small elite urban society of light skin in Louisiana (resident mostly in New Orleans) result of crossings between some beautiful black slaves and white landowners who took them as lovers.
3) tarry is a derogatory term to distinguish the typical sailor. More generally Jack Tar is the term commonly used to refer to a sailor of merchant ships or the Royal Navy. Probably the term was coined in 1600, alluding to the tar with which the sailors waterproofed their work clothes.

Teddy Thompson from Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate   Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys,  ANTI 2006 in a more meditative and melancholic version

Sally Brown she’s a nice young lady,
CHORUS
Way, hay, we roll an’ go.
We roll all night
And we roll all day
Spend my money on Sally Brown.

Shipped on board off a Liverpool liner
Mother doesn’t like a tarry sailor
She wants her to marry a one legged captain
Sally Brown she’s a bright lady
She drinks stock rum
And she chews tobacco

LINK
http://www.jsward.com/shanty/sally_brown/
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=148935
http://pancocojams.blogspot.it/2012/04/sally-brown-sally-sue-brown-sea-shanty.html
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/sallyb.html
http://www.brethrencoast.com/shanty/Roll_Boys.html

Sally Brown roll and go

Leggi in italiano

In the sea shanties Sally Brown is the stereotype of the cheerful woman of the Caribbean seas, mulatta or creole, with which our sailor  tries to have a good time.

Probably of Jamaican origin according to Stan Hugill, it was a popular song in the ports of the West Indies in the 1830s.
The textual and melodic variations are many.

FIRST VERSION: WAY, HEY, ROLL AND GO

In this version the chorus is split into two short sentences repeated by the crew in sequence, after each verse of the shantyman, and is more properly a halyard shanty.

Paul Clayton “Sally Brown” from LP. “Sailing And Whaling Songs Of The 19th Century” 1954

Oh Sally Brown she’s a creole(2) lady,
Way, hey, roll(1) and go
Sally Brown’s a gay old lady,
spend my money on (with)(3) Sally Brown.
Sally Brown she has a daughter,
Sent me sailin’ ‘cross the water.
Oh seven long years I courted Sally,
Then she said she would not marry.
She wouldn’t have no tarry (4) sailor,
Wouldn’t have no greasy whaler.
Sally Brown I’m bound to leave you,
Sally Brown I’ll not deceive you.
Sally Brown she took a notion (5),
Sent me sailin’ ‘cross the ocean.

NOTE
1)The term “Creole” can be understood in two exceptions: from the Spanish “crillo”, which originally referred to the first generation born in the “New World”, sons of settlers from Europe (Spain or France) and black slaves. The most common meaning is that which refers to all the black half-bloods of Jamaica from the color of the skin that goes from cream to brown and up to black-blue. In the nineteenth century with this term was also indicated a small elite urban society of light skin in Louisiana (resident mostly in New Orleans) result of crossings between some beautiful black slaves and white landowners who took them as lovers.
2) the term is generically used by sailors to say many things, in this context for example could mean “sail”.
3) change the article immediately makes the difference “I spend the money on” Sally implies that I pay for his sexual performance “I spend the money with” Sally is more bland ..
4) tarry is a derogatory term to distinguish the typical sailor. More generally Jack Tar is the term commonly used to refer to a sailor of merchant ships or the Royal Navy. Probably the term was coined in 1600, alluding to the tar with which the sailors waterproofed their work clothes.
5) the lady to get rid of the sailor (left without money) sends him back to work, probably on a whaler

Free Women of Color with their Children and Servants in a Landscape, Agostino Brunias

Jim Horne


I shipped on board of a Liverpool liner,
Way, hey, roll and go
bunked long side the 49 ers
spend my money on Sally Brown.
O, Sally Brown, of New York City(1),
O, Sally Brown you’re very pretty
O, Sally Brown’s a bright mulatter,
She drinks rum and chews tobaccer.
O, Sally Brown’shes a Creole lady, (2)
She’s the mother of a yellow baby(3).
Sally’s teeth are white and pearly,
Her eyes are blue, her hair is curly.
Seven long years I courted Sally,
Sweetest girl in all the valley.
Seven long years she wouldn’t marry,
And I no longer cared to tarry.
So I courted her only daughter,
For her I sail upon the water.
Now my troubles are all over,
Sally’s married to a dirty soldier

NOTE
1) the shanty is also widespread on the packet ships in Liverpool-New York routes, so Sally lives in the city of New York
2)in this description the Creole girl is a mulatto from the skin in the clearest gradation, with blue eyes and wavy hair
3) or from the skin with a caramel tinge

ARCHIVE

WAY, HEY, ROLL AND GO (halyard shanty)
I ROLLED ALL NIGHT(capstan shanty)
ROLL BOYS ROLL
ROLL AND GO (John Short)

LINKS
http://www.jsward.com/shanty/sally_brown/
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=148935
http://pancocojams.blogspot.it/2012/04/sally-brown-sally-sue-brown-sea-shanty.html
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/sallyb.html
http://www.brethrencoast.com/shanty/Roll_Boys.html

Blow the man down sea shanty

Leggi in italiano

“Blow  the man down”, that is to knock a man down or strike with a fist, belaying pin or capstan bar, is a popular sea shanty.

There are a great variety of texts of this halyard shanty, with the same melody, and after the version for the cartoon character “Popeye” it has also become a song for children!

Billy Costello the voice of the first Popeye

According to Stan Hugill “the shanty was an old Negro song Knock A Man Down. This song, a not so musical version of the later Blow The Man Down, was taken and used by the hoosiers of Mobile Bay, and at a later date carried by white seamen of the Packet Ships.

Knock a man down

The original version probably comes from African-American workers, but ended up in the repertoire of liners along the transatlantic route. In his video Ranzo combines the melody of Stan Hugill with that of John Short: in the first text the shantyman would prefer to be on the ground, to enjoy themselves with drinks and girls.
Hulton Clint

There are three main themes.

FIRST VERSION: prime seamen onboard a Black Ball

The oldest version is the one in which the novice sailors are soon aware of the harsh and violent climate on the Black Baller.

black-ball
In addition to the flag the Black Ball of the Black Ball Line was drawn on the fore-topsail

As Hugill says ” Chief Mates in Western Ocean ships were known as “blowers”, second mates as “strikers”, and third mates as “greasers.”
Packets and Blowers
A Packet ship was one which had a contract to carry packets (formerly “paquettes”) of mail. The earliest and most famous transatlantic packet route was the Liverpool service, started in 1816 by the Black Ball Line, with regular departures from New York on the 1st and 16th of every month without fail, regardless of weather or other inconveniences. These early ships of 300 to 500 tons averaged 23 days for the eastward voyage and 40 days to return westward. Cabin passengers were usually gentlefolk of good breeding, who expected to find courtesy and politeness in the captains with whom they sailed. Packet captains were remarkable men, hearty, bluff, and jovial, but never coarse, always a gentleman.
The mates, on the other hand, had no social duties to distract their attention, and devoted their time and energies to extracting the very maximum of performance from both their vessel and its crew, so it is no surprise that it was on board the Black Ball liners that “belaying pin soup” and “handspike hash” first became familiar items of the shipboard regime. A hard breed of sailor was required to maintain the strict schedules whatever the weather, and it took an even harder breed of mate to keep this rough and ready bunch in some sort of order. If all else failed then then Rule of the Fist applied: to “blow a man down” was to knock him down with any means available – fist, belaying pin, or capstan bar being the weapons most often preferred. (from here)

“Capstan Bars” di David Bone 1932
CHORUS
oh! Blow the man down, bullies.
Blow the man down W-ay! hey?
Blow the man down!
Blow the man down bullies.
Blow him right down, give us the time and we’ll blow the man down!
Come all ye young fellers that follows the sea.
W-ay! hey? Blow the man down!
I’ll sing ye a song if ye’ll listen t’ me.
Give us the time an’ we’ll blow the man down!
‘Twas in a Black Baller I first served my time.
and in a Black Baller I wasted my prime.
‘Tis when a Black Baller’s preparin’ for sea.
Th’sights in th’ fo’ cas’le(1) is funny t’ see
Wi’ sodgers (2) an’ tailors an’ dutchmen an’ all,
As ships for prime seamen(3) aboard th’ Black Ball.
But when th’ Black Baller gets o’ th’ land
it’s then as ye’ll hear th’ sharp word o’ command.
oh! it’s muster ye sodgers an’ tailors an’ sich.
an’ hear ye’re name called by a son of a bitch.
it’s “fore-topsail halyards”(4), th’ Mate(5) he will roar.
“oh, lay along smartly you son of a whore”.
oh, lay along smartly each lousy recroot.
Wor it’s lifted ye’ll be wi’ th’ toe of a boot.

NOTES
1 )the forward part of a ship below the deck, traditionally used as the crew’s living quarters.
2) sodger vvariant of soldier is used as an insult in the sense of ambush, slacker, one who always tries to escape from work, that when there is work, goes away or retires
3) the inexperienced and the novices are good only for the easy maneuvers
4) fore-topsail halyards= In sailing, a halyard or halliard is a line (rope) that is used to hoist a ladder, sail, flag or yard; fore-topsai  the sail above the foresail set on the fore-topmast
5) Mate= first officer

The Seekers


I
Come all ye young fellows that follow the sea
To me weigh hey blow the man down
And pray pay attention and listen to me
Give me some time to blow the man down
I’m a deep water sailor just in from Hong Kong
If you’ll give me some rum I’ll sing you a song-
II
T’was on a Black Baller I first spent my time
And on that Black Baller I wasted my prime
T’is when a Black Baller’s preparing for sea
You’d split your sides laughing at the sights that you see
III
With the tinkers and tailors and soldiers and all
That ship for prime seamen onboard a Black Ball
T’is when a Black Baller is clear of the land
Our boatswain then gives us the word of command
IV
“Lay aft” is the cry “to the break of the poop
Or I’ll help you along with the toe of my boot”
T’is larboard and starboard on the deck you will sprawl
For Kicking Jack Williams commands the Black Ball
Aye first it’s a fist and then it’s a pall
When you ship as a sailor aboard the Black Ball

SECOND  VERSION: I’m a `Flying Fish’ sailor

The second version tells the story of a “flying-fish sailor” just landed in Liverpool from Hong Kong, swapped by a policeman for a “blackballer”. The sailor reacts by throwing the policeman on the ground with a sting and obviously ends up in jail for a few months.

Stan Hugill& Pusser’s Rum from Sailing Songs  (1990)


I’ll sing you a song if you give some gin
To me wey-hey, blow the man down
?? down to the pin
Gimme some time to blow the man down
As I was rolling down Paradise street(1)
a big irish scuffer boy (2) I chanced for to meet,
Says he, “You’re a Blackballer from the cut of your hair(3);
you’re a Blackballer by the clothes that you wear.
“You’ve sailed in a packet that flies the Black Ball,
You’ve robbed some poor Dutchman of boots, clothes and all.”
“O policeman, policeman, you do me great wrong;
I’m a `Flying Fish’ sailor(4) just home from Hongkong!”
So I stove in his face and I smashed in his jaw.
Says he, “Oh young feller, you’re breaking the law!”
They gave me six months in Liverpool town
For bootin’ and a-kickin’ and a-blowing him down.
We’re a Liverpool ship with a Liverpool crew
A Liverpool mate(5) and a Scouse(6) skipper too
We’re Liverpool born and we’re Liverpool bred
Thick in the arm, boys, and thick in the head
Blow the man down, bullies, blow the man down
With a crew of hard cases(7) from Liverpool town

NOTES
1) once the fun way for sailors, the 19th century Paradise street left today the place for Liverpool One,
2 sassy policeman or big Irish copper: scuffer is a typical nineteenth-century term for policeman
3) all the Black Baller line sailors wore their hair cut short
4) According to Hugill a flying-fish sailor is a sailor ” who preferred the lands of the East and the warmth of the Trade Winds to the cold and misery of the Western Ocean
5) first mate
6) scouse is a term used by the people of Liverpool which is also the name given to the local dialect. Originally born from the habits of the sailors of Liverpool to eat the stew of lamb and vegetables probably derived from the Norwegian “skause”. It refers to the English spoken language typical of Irish immigrants
7) hard cases: a tough or intractable person, a person who is hard to get along with.

JOHN SHORT VERSION: Knock a man down

The shantyman John Short sings a very personal version compared to the “Blow the man down” reported in the shanties archives, in the arrangement for the Short Sharp Shanties the authors write ” ” Fox-Smith, Colcord and Doeflinger all comment on the number of different texts which the shanty carried.  Hugill gives six different sets of words and Short’s words are not really related to any of them – so we have added ‘general’ verses from other versions.  Specifically, we’ve added the ‘Market Street’, ‘spat in his face’ and ‘rags are all gone’ verses – the rest are Short’s.”
Sam Lee from Short Sharp Shanties : Sea songs of a Watchet sailor vol 2 


As I was a-walking down Market street
way ay knock a man down, 
a bully old watchman I chanced for to meet
O give me some time to knock a man down.
Chorus

Knock a man down, kick a man down ;
way ay knock a man down,
knock a man down
right down to the ground,
O give me some time to knock a man down.

The watchman’s dog stood ten feet high (1),
The watchman’s dog stood ten feet high.
So I spat in his face by gave him good jaw
and says he “me young  you’re breaking the law!”
[chorus]
I wish I was in London Town.
It’s there we’d make them girls fly round.
She is a lively ship and a lively crew.
O we are the boys to put her through
[chorus]
The rags are all gone and (?the chains they are jam?)
and the skipper he says  (? “If the weather be high”?)
[chorus]

NOTES
A transcription still incomplete because I can not understand the pronunciation of the final verses
1) it was not unusual that the watchmen since the Middle Ages were accompanied with a dog, as can be seen from many vintage illustrations

THIRD VERSION: Beware of the drink whenever it’s free

000brgcf
The most widespread version is about an unfortunate meeting in Paradise street with a young “damself” sometimes compared to a ship in which, metaphorically, the sailor would want to embark.
The awakening is bitter, because he was shanghaiing on a Yankee ship. (see more)

the Haunted Saloon

I’ll sing you a song, a good song of the sea
Way – hey, blow the man down.
I trust that you’ll join in the chorus with me; Give me some time to blow the man down.
Chorus
Blow the man down, bully, blow the man down; Way – hey, blow the man down.
Blow the man down, boys, from Liverpool town; 
Give me some time to blow the man down.

As I was a-walking down Paradise street
A handsome young damsel I happened to meet
At the pub down on Lime street I then went astray
I drank enough stout for to fill Galway Bay
The next I remember I woke in the dawn
On a tall Yankee clipper that was bound round Cape Horn.
Come all ye young fellows who follow the sea
Beware of the drink whenever it’s free

Woody Guthrie from Songs of American Sailormen, 1988 version collected by Joanna Colcord


As I was out walkin’ down Paradise street(1),
To me way, hey, blow the man down!
A pretty young damsel I chanced for to meet,
Give me some time to blow the man down!

She was round in the counter and bluff in the bow,
So I took in all sail and cried “way enough now”(2)
I hailed her in English, she answered me clear
“I’m from the Black Arrow bound to the Shakespeare”
So I tailed her my flipper(3) and took her in tow
And yard-arm to yard-arm(4), away we did go
But as we were a-going she said unto me
“There’s a spankin’ full rigger(5) just ready for sea”
That spankin’ full rigger to New York was bound
She was very well mannered and very well found
But as soon as that packet was clear of the bar(6)
The mate knocked me down with the end of a spar
As soon as that packet was out on the sea
‘Twas devilish hard treatment of every degree
So I give you fair warning before we belay
Don’t never take heed of what pretty girls say.

NOTES
1) once the fun way for sailors, the 19th century Paradise street left today the place for Liverpool One,
2) way enough now from Weigh enough – Take the stroke, put the blades on the water and relax. “Weigh enough” (or “Wain…’nuff”, or “Way enough”) (USA) The command to stop what ever the rower is doing, whether it be walking with the boat overhead or rowing.
3) flipper= hand
4) yard-arm to yard-arm= Very close to each other.
5) rigger=packet
6) The bar of Mersey river.

Allen Robertson for the cartoon version of Jack Sparrow from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Swashbuckling Sea Songs 2007

I
Oh, blow the man down, bullies, blow the man down
Way aye blow the man down
Oh, blow the man down, bullies, blow him away
Give me some time to blow the man down!
II
As I was a walking down Paradise Street
A pretty young damsel I chanced for to meet.
III
So I tailed her my flipper and took her in tow
And yardarm to yardarm away we did go.
IV
But as we were going she said unto me
There’s a spanking full-rigger just ready for sea.
V
So just as that lass I reached not to far
The mate knocked me down with the end of a spar.
VI
It’s starboard and larboard on deck you will sprawl
For Captain Jack Sparrow commands the Black Pearl
VII
So I was shangaiing aboard this old ship
she took off me money and gave me to sleep
VIII
So I give you fair warning before we belay,
Don’t ever take head of what pretty girls say.

CARRIBEAN VERSIONS

Two variants from the Nevis and Carriacou islands so Ranzo writes in the notes: “The variation from Nevis, with its repeated phrase “in the hold below”, suggests the song was once associated with stevedores loading cargo. This is fascinating, because it is consistent with (my reading of the) evidence that “Blow the Man Down” was initially a stevedore song, in which the act of blowing “the man down” was perhaps a metaphor for stowing each piece of cargo. Also, the many variations, “hit,” “knock,” “kick,” “blow” are consistent with other historical data that “knock a man down” was an/the early form. The variation was sung by Roy Gumbs and party of Nevis in 1962. Lomax recorded it, and Abrahams transcribed it in his 1974 book. The second variation is from Carriacou. It refers to a vessel named _Cariso_. It was sung by Daniel Aikens and chorus in 1962.”

LINK
http://www.contemplator.com/sea/blowdown.html
http://www.jsward.com/shanty/btmd/index.html
http://shanty.rendance.org/lyrics/showlyric.php/blowdown
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/blow-the-man-down.html
http://www.shanty.org.uk/archive_songs/flying-fish-sailor.html http://www.acousticmusicarchive.com/blow-the-man-down-chords-lyrics
http://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/blowthemandown.htm
http://www.umbermusic.co.uk/SSSnotes.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

Paddy Lay Back: take a turn around the capstan

Leggi in italiano

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

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

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

I
‘Twas a cold an’ dreary (frosty) mornin’ in December,
An’ all of me money it was spent
Where it went to Lord (Christ) I can’t remember
So down to the shippin’ office I went,
CHORUS
Paddy, lay back (Paddy, lay back)!
Take in yer slack (take in yer slack)!
Take a turn around the capstan – heave a pawl (1) – (heave a pawl)
‘Bout ship’s stations, boys,
be handy (be handy)! (2)
For we’re bound for Valaparaiser(3)
‘round the Horn (4)! 

II
That day there wuz a great demand for sailors
For the Colonies and for ‘Frisco(5) and for France
So I shipped aboard a Limey(6) barque (7) “the Hotspur”
An’ got paralytic drunk on my advance (8)
III
Now I joined her on a cold December mornin’,
A-frappin’ o’ me flippers to keep me warm.
With the south cone a-hoisted as a warnin’ (9),
To stand by the comin’ of a storm.
IV
Now some of our fellers had bin drinkin’,
An’ I meself wuz heavy on the booze;
An’ I wuz on me ol’ sea-chest a-thinkin’
I’d turn into me bunk an’ have a snooze.
V
I woke up in the mornin’ sick an’ sore,
An’ knew I wuz outward bound again;
When I heard a voice a-bawlin’ (calling) at the door,
‘Lay aft, men, an’ answer to yer names!’
VI
‘Twas on the quarterdeck where first I saw you,
Such an ugly bunch I’d niver seen afore;
For there wuz a bum an’ stiff from every quarter,
An’ it made me poor ol’ heart feel sick an’ sore.
VII
There wuz Spaniards an’ Dutchmen an’ Rooshians,
An’ Johnny Crapoos jist acrosst from France;
An’ most o’ ‘em couldn’t speak a word o’ English,
But answered to the name of ‘Month’s Advance’.
VIII
I knew that in me box I had a bottle,
By the boardin’-master ‘twas put there;
An’ I wanted something for to wet me throttle,
Somethin’ for to drive away dull care.
IX
So down upon me knees I went like thunder,
Put me hand into the bottom o’ the box,
An’ what wuz me great surprise an’ wonder,
Found only a bottle o’ medicine for the pox

NOTES
1) pawl – short bar of metal at the foot of a capstan or close to the barrel of a windlass which engage a serrated base so as to prevent the capstan or windlass ‘walking back’. […] The clanking of the pawls as the anchor cable was hove in was the only musical accompaniment a shanty ever had! (Hugill, Shanties 414)
2)  it is a typical expression in maritime songs
3) Valparaiso – a seaport in central Chile on the Pacific Ocean west-northwest of Santiago.
4) the Horn – Cape Horn – a rocky headland on an island at the extreme Southern tip of South America, belonging to Chile. It is notorious for gales and heavy seas.
5) Frisco – San Francisco
6) limey – The origin of the Yanks calling English sailors ‘Limejuicers’ […] was the daily issuing of limejuice to British crews when they had been a certain number of days at sea, to prevent scurvy, according to the 1894 Merchant Shipping Act (Hugill, Shanties 54)
7) barque – a sailing ship of three or more masts having the foremasts rigged square and the aftermast rigged fore-and-aft; any boat, especially a small sailing vessel
8) the sailor has spent all the advance on high-alcohol drinking
9) A storm-cone is a visual signalling device made of black-painted canvas designed to be hoisted on a mast – if apex upwards, a gale is expected from the North, if from the South, apex downward. The storm cone was devised by Rear Admiral Robert Fitzroy, former commander of HMS Beagle, head of a department of the Board of Trade known today simply as the Met Office, and inventor of weather forecasts.
“In 1860 he devised a system of issuing gale warnings by telegraph to the ports likely to be affected. The message contained of a list of places with the words:
‘North Cone’ or ‘South Cone’ – for northerly or southerly gales respectively
‘Drum’  – for when further gales were expected,
Drum and North/South Cone’ – for particularly heavy gales or storms. ” (from herei) (see more)

FOLK VERSION: Valparaiso Round the Horn

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

The Wolfe Tones from “Let The People Sing” 1972 make a folk version that has become the standard of a classic irish drinking song (Paddy Lie Back)
The Irish Rovers live

Sons Of Erin

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

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

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

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