S&A Projects is a Not-For-Profit organization which supports and promotes vernacular culture, tradition and lore in England. The initial fund derived from surplus income from a small weekend festival of folk singing, but can also accept contributions from a variety of sources.

Short Sharp Shanties
ALL ABOUT THE SHANTIES             THE CDs
REVIEWS: VOLUME 1           CDs ORDER FORM
PRINTINTG ERROR ON CD vol.3
What the Short Sharp Shanties project is:
John Short - a.k.a. Yankee Jack - was a mid-nineteenth century sailor who was employed as a shantyman and sailed all over the world. In 1914, he was visited by Cecil Sharp who collected nearly sixty shanties from him - including Rosabella. These are early versions, learnt some six decades before Stan Hugill was acquiring his repertoire.
 
The entire project includes a number of elements: Research on John Short’s life history, the ships on which he sailed, the development of shantying, contemporary merchant marine life, Watchet maritime history and the wider political world, etc. The project includes articles, schools work, creation of performances, workshop/seminar presentations and new recordings of Short’s entire collected repertoire, in collaboration with Wild Goose Records, issued on three CDs. (There is some information on each shanty in the CD booklet, but for more detailed information click HERE). Singers on the records are: Jeff Warner (USA), Keith Kendrick, Jim Mageean, Jackie Oates, Tom & Barbara Brown, Sam Lee & Roger Watson. Each performer is using their instrumental talents on certain tracks as well. Doug Bailey adds extra chorus and Brian Willoughby is contributing guitar on some tracks.
 
It was quite a surprise to discover how many of the ‘standard’ shanties in the folk-revival repertoire actually originate with John Short – and then there are the rarities, like Rosabella, which only came to light in 1979, and for which Short is one of only four known sources (two of them being obscure single verses in the Carpenter collection).  Stan Hugill refers to Short in connection with several shanties in Shanties of the Seven Seas, but it is evident that Stan worked from Sharp’s publication and not from his manuscripts.  At the same time, the fact that Short was at sea, and learning his trade as a shantyman in the period when shantying was developing, means that many shanties are ‘early’ – and now unusual - versions.
 
In April 2008 - and quite independently of the Short Sharp Shanties project - a life-size bronze of John Short, derived from photographs, was unveiled on Watchet quay.  Yankee Jack is back surveying the harbour and the numerous changes it has witnessed since he died in 1933.
It was with great sadness that we came to terms with the fact that Johnny Collins would not be a part of the recordings for the Short Sharp Shanties project. Always enthusiastic about the idea of recording ALL of John Short's versions, Johnny was keen to be part of these recordings - it was Johnny who, with Jim Mageean, first brought Rosabella to the attention of the shanty world over thirty years ago.
 
In July 2010, Roger Watson announced that for health reasons, he was having to give up performing altogether. Our sympathies are with Roger, but we are very pleased he was able to record five of the shanties, and contribute his instrumental skills to others, before he had to retire.
 
The project wants to record its profound thanks to Chris Roche and the Shanty Crew, without whose encouragement and financial support it would not have been possible to bring the recordings to a conclusion so quickly or so easily.
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INTRODUCTION
THE PEOPLE
THE SHANTIES
THE PROJECT
THESE NOTES ARE COMMENTARIES ON THE TEXTS AND TUNE TRANSCRIPTIONS OF JOHN SHORT’S SHANTIES, AS COLLECTED AND NOTED BY CECIL SHARP IN 1914, (AND SUBSEQUENTLY BY RICHARD R. TERRY) AND RECORDED IN THE SERIES SHORT SHARP SHANTIES  ISSUED BY WILDGOOSE RECORDS AND S&A PROJECTS (WGS381-382).  THERE ARE BRIEF NOTES SUPPLIED WITH THE RECORDINGS, AND AN ACCOUNT OF JOHN SHORT’S LIFE AND TIMES WAS PUBLISHED IN SEPTEMBER 2014 (HERE) - BUT THESE NOTES ON THE RECORDED VERSIONS OF THE SHANTIES, AND THE BACKGROUND TO THEM, ARE FOR ANORAKS LIKE ME, WHO WANT CHAPTER AND VERSE: THE WHYS, WHATS AND WHEREFORES OF THE SOURCES, WHO’S PLAYING WHAT, THE GAP-FILLING AND DECISION-MAKING THAT ENABLED THE RECORDINGS TO BE MADE.  THESE NOTES WERE CREATED PRIMARILY BY TOM BROWN, WITH VERY HELPFUL OBSERVATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FROM JIM MAGEEAN, JEFF WARNER, AND OTHER LEAD SINGERS.  ERRORS, HOWEVER, REMAIN TOM’S RESPONSIBILITY.
 
THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES BEHIND THE RECORDINGS WERE:
 
A. All John Short’s text and tunes, including variations whenever possible, should be included.  For many shanties, he gave Sharp only a verse or so, and so texts have had to be expanded from a variety of other collected sources – many detailed below.  (Short actually said to Sharp, after giving him single verses, “you do put in what you’ve a mind to, after that.”)
B. We would not attempt ‘authentic’ renditions – we were in a studio, not on a rolling, pitching deck in the teeth of a Sou’west gale. Having made that decision, it then allowed for more variation in treatment, sometimes letting the song’s roots show; sometimes just enjoying the improvisation Short himself might have employed; sometimes letting the instruments add variety to the totality of the project - but hardly ever, we hope, obscuring these songs from being understandable, at base, as working shanties. Inevitably, instrumentation tends to be more prevalent on narrative and capstan shanties than on, say, short-hauls!
C. We would allow the lead singer, whoever it was for each track, to create a rendition that they felt comfortable with - and in many cases the entire setting is down to the lead singer. Subsequent choruses would utilize selected members of the crew who were on watch at an appropriate time. We had to jump up and down on people very little in the end, although the singers and musicians have created an extraordinarily varied collection of tracks.   TOP
THE PEOPLE (Alphabetical)
 
Doug Bailey
Doug is co-owner, engineer and producer of WildGoose Records. Since the label was founded in 1980, WildGoose has given opportunities to many performers who might otherwise not have had them, and created some seminal recordings while they were at it.  Doug, and his wife Sue, have supported the recording part of the Short Sharp Shanties project throughout – above and beyond the call, etc… (after the initial shock of being told we wanted to record about sixty shanties!). Although he is a more than competent singer, Doug declined to lead any of the shanties, but we forced him to add his voice to many of the choruses – “rather like the thickening in the gravy” he says.  He’s also had the unenviable task of getting all the tracks to sound as we wanted them!
 
Tom and Barbara Brown
Tom and Barbara initiated the whole Short Sharp Shanties project; brought in the support of S&A Projects; finalised the performers; coordinated the hours of studio time and drove the project to fruition.  They created both Culpepper and Regalia in their younger days but now concentrate on their duo work.  They first discovered John Short and his repertoire back in 1979 and, fortuitously, gave Rosabella to Jim Mageean & Johnny Collins: the rest, as they say, is history – until now.  They are renowned for their detailed knowledge of, and interpretation of, traditional song and for the various themed shows and presentations they have toured around the country over the last three decades, quite apart from their club, festival and village hall work.  As an arts academic, Tom is unusual in specializing in the vernacular arts and although Barbara claims that Tom is obsessed by the Short Sharp Shanties project, he just feels it’s a job worth doing and, as the project isn’t just the shanties, keeping a constant overview of the whole thing takes a lot of attention.
 
Johnny Collins
With Jim Mageean, Johnny was the first to support the idea of recording John Short’s entire repertoire, and we had discussed the project and his contribution many times.  Sadly, Johnny died in 2009, before recording got under way. The project is lessened by his absence, and the bottom end of the harmonies sadly depleted.  Quite apart from his vast repertoire of traditional and modern songs, Johnny’s influence on modern shanty singers worldwide, and on their repertoires, was, and will remain, profound. These recordings are dedicated to his memory.
 
Keith Kendrick
A highly regarded singer and interpreter of folk song, Keith also plays both English and Anglo concertinas.  He is also a band-leader, a one-man pit orchestra and musical director in theatre - working with both amateur and professional companies. His CV includes The Druids, Tup, Muckram Wakes and Ramsbottom, as well as contributing to many other collaborations.  Sea songs and shanties have been a significant part of Keith’s repertoire throughout his career as a solo performer and he has also been part of purely maritime acts such as The Anchormen and, currently, Three Sheets to the Wind.  His singing and his playing have added hugely to the project.  Whilst maintaining his solo career, Keith also performs with his partner Sylvia Needham and in The Ram Company.
 
Sam Lee
A (relatively) young performer who has specialized in the traditional song repertoire – in particular of some of the Traveller community.  Sam absorbs style and technique like a sponge and produces renditions unique to himself, making the song work for him rather than the other way round.  Recipient of several awards, including the first  Arts Foundation Award for Folk Music, Sam is an enthusiast and activist in bringing traditional music to public attention – and lecturing on the subject in his ‘spare’ time!  Having come to the project with no previous experience of shanties, or knowledge of their use or style, he has contributed ideas and extemporizations that have sometimes made us re-think our more entrenched attitudes – although, in the end, they haven’t all been used.  It has been a mutually educative experience.
 
Jim Mageean
Although known internationally for his performances of shanties, Jim also has a large repertoire of traditional and more modern songs including many from his native North-East.  His knowledge of the shanty genre is unparalleled and, with his late singing partner Johnny Collins, he has popularised shanties and sea songs not only in this country but throughout Europe and the English-speaking world.  Many shanty singers owe their core repertoire to Collins and Mageean.  Jim was, with Johnny, the first to support the idea of recording all Short’s versions of shanties – and his knowledge of shanties, their history and the tasks for which they were used has proved very valuable in shaping aspects of the project overall.  Jim also performs with The Keelers and with Graeme Knights.
 
Jackie Oates
A consummate performer and highly versatile musician, Jackie’s contributions to the project is inestimable. Her vocal work – both lead and chorus - and her instrumental work have provided some of the most spine-tingling moments in the studio.  Jackie is a Associate Artist of the English Folk Dance and Song Society and a member of the Imagined Village project.  As a member of the younger generation, Jackie came, like Sam, as a novice to shanties, but she has the knack, as she does in all her performance work, of getting inside the material and bringing out unexpected aspects without compromising it.  She is deservedly in high demand at clubs, concerts and festivals throughout the country.
 
Jeff Warner
Jeff hails from New England and, with his whole life – and those of his parents before him – committed to traditional and folk musics, he brings huge knowledge, vocal skills and instrumental ability to the Short Sharp Shanties. There is virtually no area of American traditional music in which he is not expert including the maritime heritage of the Eastern seaboard – and its internationally shared maritime culture within which John Short worked.  Jeff has recorded widely, including sea songs and shanties and his interpretation of the material is second to none.  We were very pleased that Jeff wanted to come on board, and grabbed him while we could when he was touring on this side of the pond. His leads, instrumental work and choruses gave us a new perspective and reminded us of the internationality of sailors such as John Short/Yankee Jack.
 
Roger Watson
With a lifetime of experience as a singer, song-writer, caller, musician, educationalist, director of a folk development organisation, and creator of multi-ethnic musical activities, Roger has the widest experience of any of the crew.  He has been central to many seminal groups including: Muckram Wakes, New Victory Band, The Hop and Boka Halat.  Following the closure of Traditional Arts Projects in Schools (TAPS), Roger returned to his solo career but, in July 2010, was forced, for health reasons, to announce his retirement from performing.  Consequently he was unable to finish his work on this project. Although deeply sadden by Roger’s retirement, we are proud that he was able to both lead some shanties and add instrumentation to others before he had to stop work. His abilities have made a significant and valuable contribution to these recordings.
 
Brian Willoughby
Brian is an extraordinarily skilled and versatile musician with a unique ability to subtly add to every track to which he has contributed.  His playing covers a wide range of styles – as can be heard on various tracks - but we did have to keep him un-plugged!  His early work as a guitarist contributed to many chart-topping acts.  Brian was also guitarist with The Strawbs for twenty-six years.  He now works primarily, both here and in the U.S.A., with his partner Cathryn Craig although around London Town he also relaxes with his trio The Three Mustgetbeers – where he is happily plugged.  Brian’s guitar work adds another dimension to the shanties on which he is playing – and gives us pause for thought about text, context and the musicality of the material.  TOP
THE SHANTIES
(listed alphabetically - numbers in brackets give the volume & track number for the CDs)
Titles in bold are the titles as recorded by Cecil Sharp from John Short – the bracketed titles which follow some of them may be more familiar. The bracketed figures give the CD volume & track number. L-click the title to go to the information on each shanty. TOP
A-roving (2:14)
Billy Riley (3:9)
Blackball Line, The (1:2)
Blow Away The Morning Dew (3:11)
Bully Boat, The (1:10) (Ranzo Ray)
Blow Boys, Blow (1:12) (Banks of Sacramento)
Blow Boys, Come Blow Together (3:19)
(Blow, Me Bully Boys, Blow)
Boney Was A Warrior (2:4)
Bulgine Run (1:14) (Let the Bulgine Run)
The Bull John Run (3:8) (Eliza Lee)
Bully In The Alley (3:4)
Carry Him to the Burying Ground (1:13) (General Taylor)
Cheerly Man (1:8)
Dead Horse,The (3:2) (Poor Old Man)
Do Let Me Go (3:16)
Fire! Fire! (1:5) (Fire Down Below)
Good Morning Ladies All (2:11)
Handy My Girls (3:10) (So Handy)
Hanging Johnny (1:6)
Haul Away Joe (3:17)
Haul On The Bowline (2:9)
He Back, She Back (3:!4) (Old Moke Picking on a Banjo)
Heave Away My Johnny (3:3) (We’re All Bound To Go)
Hog-eyed Man (3:6)
Homeward Bound (3:19) (Goodbye, Fare Thee Well)
Huckleberry Hunting (2:8) (Hilo, Me Ranzo Ray)
Hundred Years on the Eastern Shore (1:4)
(A Hundred Years Ago)
I Wish I Was With Nancy (2:16)
Johnnie Bowker (2:9)
Knock A Man Down (2:12) (Blow the Man Down)
Liza Lee (3:5) (Yankee John Stormalong)
Lowlands (3:18) (Dollar and a Half a Day)
Lucy Long (2:5)
Mr. Tapscott (1:3) (Can’t You Dance The Polka)
Old Stormey (3:7) (Mister Stormalong)
One More Day (2:17)
Paddy Doyle (2:9)
Paddy Works on the Railway (3:13)
Poor Old Man (1:9) (Johnny Come Down To Hilo)
Ranzo (3:12) (Reuben Ranzo)
Rio Grande (1:7)
Roll And Go (2:6) (Sally Brown)
Rosabella (3:1) (Saucy Rosabella)
Round the Corner Sally (3:15)
Rowler Bowler (2:1)
Santy Anna (2:10) (Plains of Mexico)
Shallow Brown (1:15)
Shanadore (2:13) (Shenandoah)
Sing Fare You Well (1:1)
So Early in the Morning (2:3)
(The Sailor Likes His Bottle O)
Stormalong John (1:11) (Stormy Along, John)
Sweet Nightingale (2:18 bonus track)
Times Are Hard and The Wages Low (2:15)
(Leave Her, Johnny, Leave Her)
Tom’s Gone To Ilo (2:7)
Tommy’s Gone (1:18) (Tommy's Gone Away)
Whip Jamboree (2:10)
Whisky Is My Johnny (2:2)
Won't You Go My Way? (1:16)
Crossing The Bar (3:20 bonus track)
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Collector/author names in the following notes refer to publications as follows:
 
Bullen: Bullen, F. T. & Arnold W. F. Songs of Sea Labour (Swan & Co., Ltd., London. 1912).
Colcord: Colcord, Joanna C. Songs of American Sailormen (W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. New York. 1938) (Originally published as Roll and Go).
Doerflinger: Doerflinger, William Main. Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman  (Meyerbooks, Glenwood, Illinois. 1990).  (First published as Shantymen & Shantyboys (The Macmillan Company) New York. 1951.)
Fox-Smith: Fox Smith, Cicely. A Book of Shanties (Methuen & Co., Ltd., London. 1927).
Hugill: Hugill, Stan. Shanties From the Seven Seas (Routledge and Kegan Paul. London. 1960).
L.A.Smith: Smith, L. A. The Music of the Waters (Kegan Paul, Trench & Co., London. 1888).
Sharp: Sharp, Cecil J. English Folk-Chanteys (Simpkin Marshall Ltd., Schott & Co. Ltd., London. 1914).
Terry: Terry, Richard Runciman. The Shanty Book Part II (J. Curwen & Sons Ltd., London. 1924.) [Vol. 1, which had been published in 1921, did not contain any of Short’s shanties. Terry did not meet him until after Sharp’s publication.]
Tozer: Davis, J. & Tozer, F. Sailor Songs or ‘Chanties’ (Boosey & Co., Ltd., London. 1887).
Whall: Whall, Cptn. W. B. Sea Songs & Shanties (Brown, Son & Ferguson, Ltd., Glasgow. 1927). (First edition called Ships, Sea Songs and Shanties, 1910.)
 
This list includes all the significant publications of shanties up to and including Stan Hugill’s encyclopædic publication of 1960.  Also cited in these notes are:-
 
Richard (Dick) Maitland. A sailor of the old school who can be heard on various American Library of Congress recordings, both singing shanties and talking.  Some of this material is available on the CD American Sea Songs and Shanties. (Rounder CD ROUN 1519). He was also the original source of The Leaving of Liverpool which he gave to Doeflinger.
The Rev. Allen Brockington. The vicar of Carhampton, Somerset, and the man who introduced Cecil Sharp to John Short in the first instance.  Sharp had first been collecting in the area as early as 1904 but did not meet Short until 1914 – we get the impression he’d been trying to meet him for some time!
Anne Geddes Gilchrist. A musicologist and folk song collector. She was a regular contributor of scholarly articles to the Journal of the Folk Song Society. She joined the editorial board of the JFSS in 1906.
The Carpenter Collection. The James Madison Carpenter Collection is a major collection of traditional song and drama, traditional instrumental music, dance, custom, narrative and children's folklore. An American, Carpenter’s collecting in the British Isles was in the period 1928-35. The collection includes over 800 items of sea songs and shanties.   TOP
A-roving
LEAD: Jim Mageean.  Anglo – KK, Fiddle – JO. CHORUS: BB, DB.
 
A widespread and popular shanty that appears in every collection we’ve found – except that the published words often lack the Rabelaisian theme of most traditional versions: an amorous encounter with anatomical progression. Short’s words do not direct us to a specific version, so we have augmented his text with some of the standard verses.  Colcord comments that A-roving is “The oldest of the capstan shanties” and Hugill, suggesting that Short’s version is the oldest of the versions he has come across, notes that the tune of the Sharp/Terry published version (i.e. Short’s) “has the jerkiness of all shanties which were sung at the earlier brake-pumps and lever windlasses”.
 
Terry says “This version was sung to me by Mr. Short at Watchet, Somerset. There is another version in print (which differs in several points) taken down from his singing. This only goes to prove (what every collector of shanties knows) that shantymen are given to varying their version according to the mood of the moment.”  Whilst varying is undoubtedly true, the only way in which the published tunes vary is that Sharp prints a sharpened 7th - although he collected the tune with a natural 7th - while Terry does publish the natural.  There are no indications that Short varied the seventh in performance at all!
 
A-roving is often quoted as deriving from a song in Thomas Heywood’s play The Rape of Lucretia, which was first performed in London about 1630. It too has an amorous encounter with anatomical progression but there, to put it simply, all similarity ends. The presence of a common entertaining theme line does not prove a connection except possibly in the idea itself.  RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Billy Riley
LEAD: Jeff Warner. CHORUS: SL, DB, BB, TB.
 
Both Sharp and Terry comment that they have not come across any version other than Short’s – although Fox-Smith and Colcord (who published later) both give versions.  Hugill notes the “remarkable resemblance between Billy Riley and Tiddy High O!” and feels that “it probably originates as a cotton-hoosiers song. It may be that it was an early shanty that became less and less used, for Fox-Smith states that: “I have come across very few of the younger generation of sailormen who have heard it.
 
All versions seem fairly consistent and what words there are in Short’s text fit the usual pattern and so have been augmented from the other sources.  Sharp’s notes, after the text, say: “and so on, sometimes varying ‘walk him up so cheer’ly’ with ‘screw him up etc”.      RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Blackball Line
LEAD: Roger Watson. CHORUS: TB, BB, KK, DB.
 
Tozer calls this shanty an anchor song, Whall gives it for windlass, Colcord for halyard.  Hugill says that he disagrees with the collectors who attribute shanties to specific jobs.  Short, who gave it to Sharp as a capstan shanty, gave only one verse (In Tapscott’s Line…) and the words Sharp published are, frankly, unbelievable (e.g. ‘It was there we discharged our cargo boys’ and ‘The Skipper said, that will do, my boys’). Both Colcord and Hugill also comment on Sharp’s published words. 
 
We have utilised fairly standard Blackball Line verses, slightly bent towards Short’s Tapscott Line theme. There is a degree of cynicism in this text – Tapscott was a con-man: he advertised his ships as being over 1000 tons when, in reality, they were 600 tons at the most!  Tapscott himself gets more mention in the notes to Mr. Tapscott below.       RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Blow Away The Morning Dew
LEAD: Jim Mageean. English concertina – KK, Guitars - BW.  CHORUS: DB, BB, JO, TB.
 
Terry comments that although Short started his Blow Away the Morning Dew with a verse of The Baffled Knight, he then digresses into floating verses.  In fact three of the verses recorded and published by Terry, not one, derive from The Baffled Knight!  Short sang only the ‘flock of geese’ verse to Sharp.  Sharp did not publish the shanty, but other authors also give ‘Baffled Knight’ versions.  The other predominant version in collections is the American whaling version but still using the tune associated with The Baffled Knight and the chorus remaining close to the usual words.  
 
The text used here is virtually all Short via Terry – the addition being the the ‘new-mown hay’ verse which comes straight from The Baffled Knight.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Blow, Boys Blow (Banks of Sacramento)
Lead: Tom Brown. Banjo – JW, Fiddle – JO. CHORUS: BB, KK, JM, DB.
 
Neither Sharp nor Terry published this shanty.  All the other collectors give it as a capstan song, Hugill, in particular, says it was a favourite for raising the anchor.  Short gave it as a capstan shanty, and sang Sharp one verse only – straight from Stephen Foster’s Camptown Races which was written in 1850.  Doerflinger credits the Hutchinson Family, a famous New England concert troupe with the song Ho For California!, the chorus of which ran: “Then Ho Brothers Ho! To California go, There’s plenty of gold in the world, we’re told, On the Banks of the Sacramento” and dates it to the 1849 gold rush when, between 1849 and 1852, over ninety thousand emigrants shipped ‘round the corner’ (Cape Horn) in the hopes of finding riches in the gold fields.
 
It was Sharp's editorial policy that made him omit this shanty from his publication: as he said in the introduction to English Folk-Chanteys, I have omitted certain popular and undoubtedly genuine chanteys, such as " The Banks of the Sacramento”, ”Poor Paddy works on the Railway”, “Can't you dance the Polka," "Good‑bye, Fare you Well,",etc.,… on the ground that the tunes are not of folk-origin, but rather the latter‑day adaptations of popular, "composed" songs of small musical value.”
 
Doerflinger quotes three different sets of words that have been used for this shanty: we have expanded Short’s verse with others that relate to the message of the chorus. It is another of the many shanties that ultimately derive from contemporary song-writing for the stage in concert-troupe and minstrel show – and this is reflected in our use of fiddle and banjo.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Blow Boys, Come Blow Together (Blow, Me Bully Boys, Blow)
LEAD: Keith Kendrick. CHORUS: TB, BB, JM, DB.
 
Among the collectors, and all of them give versions of this shanty, there seems to be a consensus that this shanty started life somewhere in the slave trade and the Congo River – which appears in many versions – and only subsequently became used with the general theme of the Yankee packet ships and their harsh discipline.  Hugill, however, thinks that “although some authorities seem to think it started its career in the Guinea slaving trade, the possibility that it started in the Packet trade (about 1813) is stronger.” If that is the case, then ‘the embargo’ would be the 1812 military embargo and not the slave-trade embargo of 1800.
 
In terms of text, Hugill gives “three patterns: 1) The Guinea Slaver; 2) The Bucko Ship (Yankee China Clipper); 3) Harry Tate Ship (English skit on Yankee packet).” Short’s verses are effectively for the second pattern and we have taken lines to complete Short’s couplets from other versions of that set.  Short used several of the stanzas usually associated with Hugill’s ‘Guinea Slaver’ pattern for his version of Shallow Brown (see Shallow Brown).
 
Sharp’s note, from Short, gives: Yankee ships never carried limejuice like English ships.  Hence an Englishman was called a ‘limejuicer’.” It was the Merchant Shipping Act of 1894 that detailed limejuice provision as a protection against. and remedy for, scurvy, along with much other regulation, to the British merchant fleet. RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Boney Was A Warrior
LEAD: Jackie Oates. Fiddles – JO. CHORUS: JO
 
Short’s words were few – a mere two and a half verses – but sufficient to indicate that his, like every other version of the shanty, essentially followed Napoleon Bonaparte’s life story to a greater or lesser extent depending on the length of the job in hand (although, as Colcord points out, some versions introduced inventive variations on his life).  We have simply borrowed some (of the true) verses from other versions – but by no means all that were available! 
 
Most collectors express some surprise at the degree of sympathy expressed to Boney, forgetting the amount of English sympathy that there was for his cause – and not only amongst the lower classes: the ladies of Plymouth would parade the Barbican waving red handkerchiefs at Boney, imprisoned in the harbour on board the Bellerephon (“Billy Ruffian”) before being dispatched to St. Helena.  By the time of Short, in any case, the threat of French invasion was well past, and Boney was becoming romantic hero.
 
Interestingly, while Terry says I never met a seaman who has not hoisted topsails to this shanty”, Hugill claims that its use was never, as Terry says, at topsails, for which it would have been too fast.”  Hugill does concede that the uses of the shanty varied, sometimes “as a halliard song and others as a ‘short-haul’ or fore-sheet shanty.  In the former, the pulls would be as I have marked them in my version, in the latter, the pulls would be on the ‘yah!’ and ‘-swar!’.”  This is one of the relatively few shanties where Sharp marks the pulls (see notes to Bully In The Alley) – and they are on the ‘yah’ and ‘swar’, as Hugill describes – so John Short used this as a short haul or foresheet song.  Perhaps, we are again dealing with a shanty that changed its purpose – Jackie has chosen a slower rendition which may be more appropriate to the time.
 
Sharp noted: “Mr. Short sang “Bonny” not “Boney,” which is the more usual pronunciation; while his rendering of “John” was something between the French “Jean” and the English “John”.”      RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Bulgine Run (Let the Bulgine Run)
LEAD: Barbara Brown. CHORUS: TB, JW, KK.
 
Short told Sharp this was a capstan shanty. Certainly by Hugill’s time, “It was a halyard song, although Sharp gives it as capstan.  Colcord and Bullen have it as a halyard shanty,  L.A.Smith as a favourite for pumping, although as Hugill says, she gets her solos and choruses hopelessly mixed.”  These distinctions become important only when contemplating how to record this shanty. Hugill again:- “Terry and Bullen, although they give it as halyards, have refrains more suitable for capstan, for they give a long refrain similar to Sharp’s – unwieldy to use at halyards.”  Sharp did not publish Short’s version and there are no ‘solo’ or ‘chorus’ marking on the mss.  Hugill assumes (i.e. “long refrain” in the quote above) that “Way, yah, O….” is chorus: we think that, in Short’s version at least, it isn’t – for Short was never that elaborate on chorus lines!  Rather it belongs to the shantyman. Even though this leaves us with a structure [line, chorus, line, chorus] which Hugill says is most suitable for halyards, in this form is it is perfectly good for capstan and, of course, Short gave it to Sharp as a capstan shanty!  Perhaps, here again, is the form which later consolidated into something closer to a ‘grand chorus’ style.  Hugill points out that grand choruses developed later - and there are several examples in Short’s repertoire of pre-grand chorus versions.
 
Short’s text is typical of most versions, his three verses being a list of places to run from and to. The remainder from Hugill.  Barbara’s second solo line in each verse is exactly as notated by Sharp.      RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
The Bull John Run (Eliza Lee)
LEAD: Sam Lee.  Melodeon – RW.  Guitar – BW .  CHORUS: KK, BB, TB.
 
Sharp noted this down as 'Bull John' - it was probably a mis-hearing and mis-understanding of 'Bulgine!' All the tune variants of this shanty are quite close – Sharp (also quoted by Colcord) and Hugill both comment that the tune is virtually the same as the Irish tune Shule Agra and Hugill also points up a similarity to phrases in the shanty Plains of Mexico  (see also notes to Whip Jamboree).  Whall, Colcord and Hugill all give a minstrel origin to the text, with Hugill quoting De History Ob De World.   However, none of the published versions are Short’s, whose text bears only slight relation to the minstrel ‘original’, and so additional verses have been borrowed from Hugill, largely floaters, but avoiding the excess courting verses of the minstrel song.
 
Just as an aside, the Margaret Evans which, as some word sets for this shanty (e.g. those of both Sharp and Terry, although neither published Short’s version) say, was ‘of the Blue Cross line’, does appear in several of Tapscott’s adverts for packet passages where she is given as of the ‘X’ [i.e. Cross] line. L.A.Smith says it “used to be one of the most popular songs in the Black X Line.”  Whall notes a version in praise of the Black Ball clipper and these comments support Terry’s claim that the shanty was particularly popular on Yankee clippers. Perhaps Short’s version was acquired during his time with a North American ship's crew.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
The Bully Boat (Ranzo Ray)
LEAD: Tom Brown. CHORUS:  JM, BB, KK.
 
Another of the Ranzo shanties. Hugill says that Short’s version (Ranzo, Ranzo, Ray) was more popular among white seaman compared to what he describes as the other form (Hilo, Me Ranzo Ray).  We’re not totally convinced that the two shanties are comparable – they seem too different – and Short sang both (see Huckleberry Hunting). Apart from Hugill, only Sharp and Terry published it – both from Short – although both knew other versions (there are four versions in the Journal of the Folk Song Society, Vol.18).  It was suggested by Ann Gilchrist that the tune was related to, if not the origin of, Off To Philadelphia In The Morning There are enough verses from Short sources to mean that very little needs adding to the text – just the ‘baskets’ verse to be precise. Hugill feels that all the ‘Ranzo’ shanties are Negro in origin and probably derive from the rivermen running down to Mobile Bay.
 
Short’s use of ‘rodelling’, rather than ‘rolling’, is typical of the old tendency, still occasionally observed in parts of the English West Country, to insert additional consonants into words. Whall also observes this tendency among shanty singers, pinpointing the insertion into words with a double-L.  Short was also evidently consistent in singing Rando rather than Ranzo as both Sharp and Terry publish it thus, Terry observing that “I suspect ‘Rando’ ought to have been ‘Ranzo’, but as Mr. Short sang the former word, I have set it down here.  Tom has, of course, sought to go with Yankee Jack – but then he is obsessive!     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Bully In The Alley
LEAD: Tom Brown. CHORUS: BB, KK, JO, DB.
 
Bully in the Alley crops up as published only from Short via Sharp (“I have no variants of this nor do I know of any printed version of it”) – except for one other version that Hugill ‘picked up in the West Indies’.  There are three other shanties of this title in the Carpenter collection, with first lines that seem to be related (Edward Robinson - ‘John Brown’s body in the alley’ and Cptn. Robinson – ‘I lost my jacket in the alley’ [both of Sunderland, England] – and Mr. Forman [of Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland] – ‘I lost my coat in Story’s Alley’).  Judging by extant recordings and the internet, all revival versions seem to have the same structure, and stem from Hugill.  Hugill’s version gives Shinbone Al as a location in his text.  There are Shinbone Alleys in St. George’s, Bermuda, in Antigua, and in Pittsburgh – to name but a few!  (Story’s Alley, incidentally, is in Leith). There has also been some speculation that 'Bully' is a synonym for 'drunk': it could equally be synonymous with 'bullish' i.e. agressive (which might account for leaving your jacket in an alley after taking it off for a fight!).
 
Short’s version gives no location and no indication of drunkenness.  In fact, the fragments of Short’s text are more reminiscent of Sally In Our Alley (the composition by Henry Carey published in 1726, which became very popular in the U.S. in the nineteenth century, not the Gracie Fields 1931 song) than of Bermudan alcoholism – but either ‘explanation’ of the shanty is probably grasping at straws and ultimately pointless. 
 
Hugill comments, on the version published by Sharp, that  “I feel that this version has all the signs of being in a worn condition, as though Mr. Short’s memory, in this case, didn’t serve him well.”  It certainly proved a difficult mss to get ‘inside’ and understand.  Sharp did not always mark his mss with ‘solo’ or ‘chorus’, nor did he usually mark the stresses – the conclusion must be that when he does so (as he does throughout this shanty), it is because he has specifically checked it with Short for whatever reason.  Sharp’s solo/chorus markings and stresses initially did not seem logical, primarily because the Hugill version is so ingrained!  However, the way it seems to work is actually as Sharp recorded/published it, although it is still open to some degree of interpretation.  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.   RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Carry Him to the Burying Ground (General Taylor)
LEAD: Sam Lee. Melodeon bass – TB. CHORUS: BB, KK.
 
It is surprising, given its widespread popularity in the revival, that this shanty comes only from Sharp and Terry (i.e. Short,) – and of course Hugill had his own Harding the Barbadian version. Sharp’s notes quote Short as saying: “Might be used as a capstan shanty but we mostly used him for pulling” – this would account for the crying-out lines being solo and not chorus!  Short’s text focuses on Stormy himself and, unlike modern sets, fails to mention who General Taylor was and that he beat Santy Anna (see notes to Santy Anna!)  The verses which, in the revival, are most frequently sung to this shanty were used by Short for his version of Old Stormey (Mister Stormalong) – here, the General Taylor, Dan O’Connell and Liverpool verses are the ones given to Short and Terry.
 
Terry, in one of his not infrequent ‘commentaries’ on Sharp’s publication, says of his version collected from Short that “The tune differs at several points (notably bars 6 & 7, page 59) from C.J.Sharp’s printed version taken down from Mr. Short. But I have set it down exactly as he sang it to me.”  The difference is, we feel, illusionary. What Terry actually does is record a ‘simple’ version of the melody, while Sharp notes that The grace notes in the chorus are very remarkable and were beautifully sung by Mr. Short.” Sharp makes an extraordinary effort in transcribing these ‘grace notes’ – but they are virtually impossible to emulate precisely and so, in this recording, Sam has sought to emulate the style rather the exact transcription.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Cheerly Man
LEAD: Barbara Brown. CHORUS: TB, JW, KK.
 
A widespread and widely published shanty. Short told Sharp it was “One of the first chanties once invented and one I learned first” this would have been on his first deep-sea voyage on the Promise to Quebec in 1857.  Dana, in Two Years Before the Mast, speaks of Cheer’ly Men as being in common use in American ships of the 1830s and, as Hugill points out, “never once does he [i.e. Dana] mention the hoisting of a topsail or of a t’gallants’l, or of catting the anchor, without referring to the fact that Cheerily Man was the shanty with which they did the job.”  ‘Cheer’ly’, as an exhortation in this context, means lively.  Colcord has it as a British shanty, and states that it was frowned on in American ships in earlier days.  L.A.Smith, Fox-Smith and Hugill all comment on its raw and primitive nature: not far removed from crying-out.
 
As so often, Short gave Sharp only one verse – but enough to get the full structure of the version. Hugill noted that – “It is one of very few shanties with four solos and four refrains. Sharp [i.e. Short] gives an interesting version with only three solos and refrains.”  The remainder of our verses come from Hugill’s ‘catting the anchor’ version of the shanty - conceptual rather than narrative.  Chris Roche, of the Shanty Crew, is of the opinion that Short's 3-refrain version would have been impossible to use as a working shanty. We tend to think that, if used as a short-haul - particularly for a job like catting the anchor - it would have been no problem given the crew knowing the form.  RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Dead Horse (Poor Old Man)
LEAD: Keith Kendrick. Anglo concertina – KK.  CHORUS: TB, BB, KK, DB.
 
All writers, it seems, cite the Dead Horse shanty as belonging to the Dead Horse Ceremony, which is well described by many authors - the most detailed and elaborate perhaps being in Hiram Bailey's Shanghaied out of 'Frisco in the 'Nineties (Heath Cranton. 1925). Hugill is of the opinion that the shanty was “originally consecrated for use at this ceremony only, but in later days, when the ceremony fell into disuse, it was utilized as a halyard song”.  However, Short’s words for Dead Horse move rapidly into general ‘female encounter’ verses. We have kept the text in that style, and used various verses more usually associated with Dead Horse for Poor Old Man (a.k.a. O Wake Her, O Shake Her / Girl with the Blue Dress / Johnny Come To Hilo) where Short also used Dead Horse verses. Perhaps the shanty was not ‘originally consecrated’ to the ceremony – particularly with different verses - but became so, and with a consolidation of relevant verses, later in its evolution.   RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Do Let Me Go
LEAD: Jackie Oates. Banjo – JW. CHORUS: JW
 
Considering how widespread this shanty is in the revival, it is interesting to note that only Sharp and Terry give it, apart from Hugill – and his version comes (surprise, surprise) from Harding the Barbadian. 'Doodle', of course, is simply 'Do' with interpolated extra consonant(s) again!  Short gave Terry only the first verse (“Mr. Short had one verse of words; I have perpetrated the remaining two”), but he gave Sharp more, which are duly recorded in mss, although he only published the first verse. Although Short starts with the more or less standard 'merchant’s daughter' verse, his text rapidly becomes the folk song Blow the Candle Out.  Here, the Sharp fragments are expanded to coherent narrative from standard versions of Blow the Candle Out. The broadside text is however edited – the full text would over-fill even the longest of capstan tasks!  RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Fire! Fire!  (Fire Down Below)
LEAD: Jackie Oates. Support voice - BB. English concertina – KK. Shruti – JO. CHORUS: TB, BB, KK, SL, JM, DB.
 
There was a broadside called Fire! Fire! Fire! - printed by the Glasgow Poet's Box on the 23rd Nov. 1867.  Versions were also printed by Fortey of London and Sanderson of Edinburgh at about the same time. The chorus is obviously related to, if not the origin of, the shanty:
 
Fire! fire! fire!, Now I's bound to go;
Can't you give us a bucket of water,
Dere's a fire down below.
 
The text is in a faux-Negro patois and describes Aunt Sally nearly dying in a house-fire.  There was also a parody, printed by Such of London at about the same time, where the text is concerned with a country boy’s encounter with a city girl and the more familiar ‘fire down below’ caused by venereal disease.
 
Fire! fire! fire!, Fire down below;
Let us hope that we shall never see,
A fire down below.
 
Perhaps surprisingly, neither theme seems to recur in any of the collected versions of the shanty although plenty of contemporary shanty-singers adopt a nudge-nudge-wink-wink view of the chorus. Tozer and Sharp give it as a pumping shanty, Hugill cites it as a favourite for the purpose, and Colcord says that “Almost any of the capstan shanties could be used on the pump-brakes, but a few were kept [as this one is], by the force of convention, for no other use.” Hugill comments that, of his five versions, Short’s version has “a not so musical pattern. This form has become popular with radio shanty-singers.”  All verses except the last come from Short although, inexplicably, he only gave Sharp the ‘fire in the galley’ verse on the day and subsequently sent him, by post, the other four verses.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Good Morning Ladies All
LEAD: Jeff Warner. CHORUS: TB, BB, KK.
 
Sharp knew of no versions of this shanty other than Short’s; Terry published a shanty with the same title, but with an altogether distinct scansion and structure, that he had heard on Blyth and Tyne ships in his youth; and, for a change, Hugill quotes both but, uncharacteristically, offers no distinct version of his own. This leaves John Short’s version pretty much as a stand-alone.  Sharp notes that the tune has ‘affinity with’ Heave Away Me Johnny, but the whole shanty feels like a cotton-screwing song and this is in line with Hugill’s comment that any shanty including ‘good morning ladies all’ is probably of Negro origin.  He goes on to quote a minstrel songbook.
 
Jeff has given reign to the freedom that would have resided in early hoosier singing and finished with a version that feels entirely right.  The ‘Captain’ and ‘ladies’ verses are from Short, the remainder from Terry's version.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Handy My Girls (So Handy)
LEAD: Keith Kendrick.  CHORUS: KK, DB, TB, BB.
 
A widespread and widely published shanty. Colcord describes it as sort of ‘general utility’ shanty, with no particular words, and no story lines peculiar to it alone and Hugill says that Lines were often purloined and sung to other hauling songs. In fact, it seems, it was the sailors ‘fall-back’ when he ran out of verses telling the regulation story – a few verses from this would help him to ‘string out’ and complete the hoist.  The first version Hugill gives has twenty-four verses.
 
Amongst the collections, the alternative choruses of Handy my boys, so handy and Handy my girls, so handy occur with almost equal frequency.  This is one of the few shanties where several publishers actually include the introductory, or crying-out, phrase although we know they were widely used – how else would the crew know which shanty was coming?  Short frequently sang, and Sharp recorded, these introductions and we have used them wherever Sharp’s notebook recorded them.  Our text includes all the verses he sang to Sharp and to Terry – and only two of them were sung to both collectors!     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Hanging Johnny
LEAD: Tom Brown.  CHORUS: BB, KK, JM, DB.
 
Sharp publishes a set of words in which the shantyman does not himself hang people and indeed sings, I never hung nobody. Hugill is adamant (as is Terry) that no shantyman ever claimed that anyone other than himself was the hangman, and that “Sentimental verses like some collectors give were never sung – Sailor John hanged any person or thing he would think about without a qualm.”  Checking these ‘some collectors’, one finds several who elect only to hang the bad guys – liars, murderers, etc. – are these the verses Hugill means by ‘sentimental’ or is he having a go at Sharp for the shantyman not being the hangman himself?  Sharp’s notebooks show that he recorded from Short the same as he published.  It could be that Short is self-censoring but it seems unlikely given that Short seems happy, in various other shanties, to sing text that might not be regarded as genteel (e.g. Nancy, Lucy Long, Shanadore). Short was, however, a deeply religious man and, if this is not simply an early and less developed form of the shanty, then he may have deliberately avoided casting himself as hangman – we will never know! Notwithstanding, and contrary to Hugill’s assertion, there was at least one shantyman who actually sang I never hung nobody.
 
Collectors'/publishers' reactions to the shanty are curiously mixed: Bullen merely notes that “shanties whose choruses were adapted for taking two pulls in them… were exceedingly useful”, Fox-Smith that it had an “almost macabre irony which is not found in any other shanty”, and Maitland that “This is about as doleful a song as I ever heard” but, in an almost poetic description points out that “there’s a time when it comes in. For instance after a heavy blow, getting more sail on the ship. The decks are full of water and the men cannot keep their feet. The wind has gone down, but the seas are running heavy. A big comber comes over the rail; the men are washed away from the rope. If it wasn’t for the man at the end of the rope gathering in the slack as the men pull, all the work would have to be done over again.” – Horses for courses!     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Haul Away Joe
LEAD:  Sam Lee. CHORUS: KK, DB, BB, TB.
 
A shanty that crops up widely and consistently in the revival, although the publishers give a variety of tune forms. Hugill quotes “both major and minor” tunes; Sharp published a mixolydian variant in the Folk Song Journal; Tozer, Bullen and Whall published major versions of the tune; John Short’s tune is in the dorian mode.  Reading through the notes by various publishers, some consistent opinions emerge: 1) That the major versions (ionian and mixolydian) came later than the minor (aeolian and dorian). 2) That early versions were used for short-haul sheet work where there were, as Hugill puts it, “at most no more than three or four verses” and L.A.Smith, Whall, Doerflinger and Bullen all concur – a short pull but a strong one.  3) Later, and particularly on English ships, came longer versions where, to quote Terry, “the verses extemporized to this shanty were endless” and the shanty became used for more general longer hauling work.
 
Sharp notes that: Mr. Short described it as a “tacks and sheets” chantey”.  Short gave four verses but we have chosen to treat the shanty as a longer haul song and have expanded the text with Yankee, Spanish and Irish girls.  Sharp’s notes also say:  “Booble Alley – (somewhere in London)” and that its use was for “Boarding the main tack.”     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Haul On The Bowline / Paddy Doyle / Johnnie Bowker
LEADS: Keith Kendrick, Jim Mageean, Tom Brown. CHORUS: KK, JM, TB, JW, DB.
 
Just a little set of three: on the face it, a short-haul and two bunting shanties although it becomes slightly more complicated.
 
Haul on the Bowline, in its more common form, was a widespread and popular short-haul and sweating-up shanty. In Short’s version, which Hugill cites as a capstan version, the structure is different. In fact, Short gave it to Sharp as a hauling shanty, not a capstan shanty.  Hugill does cover his back by saying that this form could also be used for hauling although he disagrees with Shorts distribution of verse and chorus when it was used for hauling!  Perhaps what we have here is an early version, before the shanty settled down into distinct capstan and, more popularly, hauling versions such as those Hugill was familiar with. Notwithstanding, we fall back on Stan again for text: Short only supplied the introduction, one verse and chorus, so the additional verses are adapted from Hugill.
 
Sharp noted that, according to Short, Paddy Doyle was “similar to Johnnie Bowker i.e. sung once by everybody, the chanty man leading off.”  Tozer, Whall, Bullen, Colcord, Terry and Doerflinger all comment that Paddy Doyle was exclusively a bunting shanty.  Whall gives only two verses and Terry claims that “the same verse was sung over and over again”.   Nevertheless, Short gave Sharp four verses.  Evidently, even for Short, it was not always simply a one-heave bunting job, and in line with our principles we’ve recorded all Short’s verses.  As to who Paddy Doyle was, who knows? Some say he was a Liverpool boarding house master, others that he was a boot and shoemaker who lived in Paradise Street, Liverpool, in the mid-1800s, or perhaps the Patrick Doyle who a kept a chandlery in Nelson Court near the Liverpool dock at about the same time. Whoever he was, his name went all around the world.
 
There is also a consensus among published sources that Johnnie Bowker was used more as a (longer) short-haul shanty on American ships although sometimes for furling and bunting. Short gave it to Sharp as a bunting shanty, and was adamant that, in his experience (here, we may say – ‘in his usage’), “the song is sung once only, the one action on the lead [actually final] note completing the job”.  We’ve duly recorded it 'only once'.   RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
He Back, She Back (Old Moke Picking on the Banjo)
LEAD: Jeff Warner. Banjo – JW.
 
One of the two shanties (the other being Paddy Works on the Railway) which seem to be close relations to the American shore song Pat Do This. The chorus of which goes;
 
Sugar, sugar, roo, sugar, sugar, roo,
Sugar in the cream-jug, how do yer do?
Working on the railroad, fol-a-rol-a-ray,
Johnny come picking on a banjer.
 
There is a further possible root in the Song of the Pinewoods, where the "singer lands in America in 1844 and works in the pinewoods. An Irish girl offers him whiskey and looks him over. He describes the teamsters with whom he works. The song may have many floating verses and a nonsense chorus.” There is obviously a complex of related texts, locations, tunes and floating verses which it is impossible to tease out and give sequence to.
 
Hugill comments that Sharp is the only publisher, other than himself, who gives this shanty. The versions are not dissimilar.  Short gave only one verse and chorus – the remainder comes from Hugill and, in his opinion, the song was “originated by the Negro and Irish work-gangs who laboured on the Iron Road. Some of these songs eventually arrived at sea and [this] was certainly one of them.” Short’s first line is an absolute delight – and a statement about accuracy, rather than the more usual, and less graphic, ‘shot him in the stern and never turned a hair.’  Sharp’s notes to Short’s published version state: “The tune, which is in the dorian mode, is, as Miss Gilchrist has pointed out to me, a variant of Shule Agra…  Both words and tune show negro influence.” Short gave Sharp only the first verse, so it’s back to Stan Hugill for the remainder of this set.
 
The word ‘moke’ is, according to several dictionaries, an English 19th century word which they cite as being of unknown origin – but meaning donkey.  Friends who use the Romany language claim it as a Romany word for donkey. In Australia it came to mean a poor quality horse.  In America it also came to be applied to black slaves – rather betraying the way in which they were viewed at the time. This application was also Sharp’s understanding, from Short, as recorded in his field notebook.  However, life is never that simple and those who are familiar with sheet music and line-drawing adverts for black minstrel troupes will be familiar with drawings of the troupe sitting in an arc on stage with an actual donkey playing banjo at the end of the line!     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Heave Away, My Johnny  (We’re All Bound To Go)
LEAD:  Barbara Brown. Anglo concertina – KK. Octave mandola – TB. CHORUS: BB, KK, JO.
 
This is another shanty where, with the tune and structure fairly consistent, different texts were used over time.  Sharp had only three verses from Short – but they immediately show his text to have been the folksong Banks of the Sweet Dundee.  Colcord also notes the use of Banks of the Sweet Dundee to this tune and notes that “this version was seldom or never sung on American ships.” Other texts used for this shanty include, as Colcord notes, Mr. Tapscott - which Short used to the New York Girls tune (see Mr. Tapscott).   Hugill quotes both Mr. Tapscott and The Banks of Newfoundland texts as sung to Heave Away Me Johnny.
 
Whall and Colcord both surmise an 1850s' origin to the shanty, but this assumption seems to be based on the fact that their texts are both Mr. Tapscott versions.  Hugill says that the most popular way of singing this shanty in the latter days of sail was with the ‘Sometimes we’re bound for Liverpool’’ set of words.  Perhaps we have an evolution here where the form, tune and chorus remains fairly consistent, but the texts used move from Banks of the Sweet Dundee to Mr. Tapscott to Sometimes we’re bound for Liverpool’.  Short, once again, gives us an early version and it may indicate that the shanty started life on the English side of the pond rather than the American.
 
From Short’s three verses we have expanded the text from the closest broadside versions of Banks of the Sweet Dundee.  The full text would take too much time for even the longest of tasks so we have exercised some précis skills without, hopefully, destroying the story!     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Hog-eyed Man
LEAD: Jackie Oates. CHORUS:  TB, BB, KK, JM, DB.
 
This is one of the Shanties where authors seem to be obsessed about obscenity (see also notes to Whip Jamboree).  Whall: “much of this shanty is unprintable;  Terry: “Of the infinite number of verses to this fine tune hardly one is printable”; Colcord: “None of the versions can be printed in anything like their entirety”;  Hugill: “Many other shanties were just as obscene, and even worse.”  A lot of note-space is expended – leading nowhere, for example: Terry – “There has been much speculation as to the origin of the title. As a boy my curiosity was piqued by reticence, evasion, or declarations of ignorance, whenever I asked the meaning of the term. It was only in later life that I learnt it from Mr. Morley Roberts. His explanation made it clear why every sailor called it either 'hog‑eye' or 'hog's‑eye,' and why only landsmen editors ever get the word wrong and Hugill: “I rather think Terry got his words mixed – he was thinking of ‘Dead-eye’ and not ‘Hog-eye’, the former having both a nautical and an obscene significance.  Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, then!  Short’s text may be sexually based - but even slightly expanded it is not obscene, although it is in line with the theme of other versions.  We have commented elsewhere on whether Short self-censored – we rather like him getting his own nickname into the text!
 
Whall dates the shanty to 1849/1850 and points out that “until the roads were made, there was great business carried on by water, the chief vehicles being barges called “hog-eyes.”  The general consensus is that the shanty is of Negro origin, probably from river boatmen - the men who worked the hog-eyes (although one version does refer to a 'railroad navvie'), and all agree that, at sea, it was a windlass/capstan shanty.
 
Regarding the location of Whitemore Lane, Sharp’s notes give “In Cardiff but now done away with.”     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Homeward Bound  (Goodbye, Fare You Well)
LEAD: Roger Watson. Melodeon – RW. Anglo concertina – KK. Banjo – JW. Fiddle – JO. CHORUS: TB, BB, KK, SL.
 
Sharp did not publish a version of Homeward Bound, although virtually every other publisher does (his reasons are explained in the notes to Blow Boys, Blow/Banks of Sacramento). All publishers refer to its popularity and sentiment and often to its use: “one of the regulation songs when getting the anchor aboard” (Whall), “probably more frequently sung than any other Chanty [sic] when getting under weigh” (Bullen), “Traditionally sung when heaving up anchor, homeward bound. …a song consecrated to the occasion.” (Doerflinger). 
 
Hugill says “I know of 4 versions common to seamen the world over. (a) Usual Homeward-bound sentiments, (b) Verses taken from forebitter Homeward Bound, (c) Milkmaid , (d) Verses from The Dreadnought.” Short gave only limited verses but enough to indicate that Short’s version was type (a) – the verses have been supplemented from other versions of the same type.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Huckleberry Hunting (Hilo, Me Ranzo Ray)
LEAD: Barbara Brown. Banjo – JW. Fiddle – JO. CHORUS: TB, BB, KK.
 
Sharp recorded one and a half verses from Short.  Whall, who also gave those two verses, comments that there were a ‘regulation first three verses’ before the shantyman went off at his own tangent. Hugill comments that: it appears to have been used for every shipboard job with perhaps the exception of tacks and sheets, and hand over hand!  Most forms indicate negro origin.’ It is also worth quoting Colcord “The shanty appears in many guises, identified only by the air and the chorus, which varied little. Bullen’s version is What did you give for your fine leg of mutton; while Terry calls it The Wild Goose shanty.”
 
We have followed Whall here but, of course, included all the Short text available.  Short’s tune can sound peculiar - and for some people even feel uncomfortable – as it does not fit the ‘normal’ pattern of scales and modes we are used to in Anglo/American traditional music. It uses a tritone or 'the devil’s interval' as it became known - we’ve grown to quite like it although Jeff Warner fears he’ll be drummed out of the Banjo Players' Union Of America for blatant use of an augmented fourth!   RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
A Hundred Years On The Eastern Shore (A Hundred Years Ago)
LEAD: Jeff Warner. CHORUS: TB, BB, KK.
 
An interesting paucity of versions in the early collections – certainly Sharp knew of only one variant which was published by Tozer.  Colcord links her version to Sharp’s, so we decided to use her ‘additional’ verses. She also comments that this shanty “is chiefly remarkable as being the only shanty which can be identified with the Baltimore clippers.” Hugill’s words are simply an aggregation of Colcord and Tozer!  He says that: “I believe this to be the shanty mentioned by Dana which he calls Time For Us To Go, although it is possible that he may have been referring to a version of Leave Her, Johnny, Leave Her, often called Time For Us To Go.”
 
Jeff uses the style of singing, remarked upon by several collectors, whereby the solo and chorus are hugely overlapped.  This applies to many, if not most, short haul shanties and is probably as close as we get to ‘authentic’ in this collection – see also Ranzo, Billy Riley etc. The similarities between this tune and that for Tommy’s Gone Away are worthy of note.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Johnny Bowker – SEE HAUL ON THE BOWLINE
Knock A Man Down
LEAD: Sam Lee. English concertina – KK. CHORUS: SL, BB, KK, DB.
 
A widely known and published shanty. As L.A.Smith says: “One of the best and jolliest quick-time songs and certainly one of the most well-known. …an incentive to the labour of hoisting the tops’l yards or any other hauling work.” Most singers use the version known as Blow the Man Down. Hugill believes that ‘Knock’ is earlier than ‘Blow’ and quotes Short’s version as “a good example” of an early version.  Hugill also believes that “that 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.
 
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.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Liza Lee (Yankee John Stormalong)
LEAD: Jim Mageean. Anglo concertina – KK. CHORUS: TB, BB, KK, DB.
 
Although there are a few published versions of this shanty, the collectors have little to say about it. Both Sharp and Terry publish Short’s version, and Colcord also publishes it, by permission of Cecil Sharp.”  Bullen and Hugill both publish other versions but without any informative commentary.
 
It is, obviously, one of the Stormalong shanties (of which Hugill identifies six).  It is sometimes titled Yankee John, Stormalong to distinguish it from Stormalong John and Mister Stormalong.  Short’s texts for both these are also familiar as verses for yet another Stormy shanty – Carry Him To The Burying Ground (General Taylor) – but for Liza Lee he used a text which may have an origin in the minstrel song Liza Lee.  Our entire text is straight from Short as given to Sharp and Terry.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Lowlands (Dollar and a half a day)
LEAD: Jeff Warner. CHORUS: TB, BB, KK.
 
L.A. Smith and Whall believe that this shanty was the precursor of the ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ (dead lover) versions of Lowlands: Fox-Smith and Colcord think the transition was the other way round – possibly “based on an earlier English or Scottish ballad”.  In this form, however, without the dream, it is purely Negro in origin and from the cotton ports of the South.  Hugill is nearest the mark when he says that “the only sure point is that this shanty at some time passed through the shanty mart of Mobile and was moulded accordingly.”  Short’s text was, as often, minimal – here we have added floating ‘were you ever in…’ verses.
 
Sharp noted this shanty on the 20th of April, but amended his notebook when Short sang it again on the 21st and noted: “I have no doubt but that this is correct. He did not publish it.  All the authorities agree that it is difficult to transcribe.  Sharp was fastidious – witness how elaborate some of his notations are.  We gave this to Jeff and he has produced a rendition that fully justified our faith in him - solid as a rock and achingly plaintive!     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Lucy Long
LEAD: Tom Brown. English concertina – TB. Baritone English concertina - JW.  CHORUS: KK, JM, DB, JM, BB.
 
This would seem to be a rare shanty.  Only Sharp and Terry print it – both from John Short – except for Hugill who gives a version he claims to have “picked up in Trinidad in 1931.” Stan reports a remarkable number of otherwise ‘rare’ shanties that he claims to have acquired in the West Indies.  It probably derives from the Virginia Minstrels’ Miss Lucy Long (introduced in 1843 and subsequently adopted by other troupes) which contains the verse:
 
I axed her for to marry
Myself de toder day,
She said she'd rather tarry
So I let her habe her way.
 
This original is otherwise about the singer’s desire for Lucy, and bears little resemblance to recorded shanty verses. Short seems to be putting together a series of unrelated verses: Lucy, Lulu and Susie all had related babies but none offer significant ‘fits’ for this text.  Indeed, Short’s text for Won’t You Go My Way, feels more like deliberate positive reworking of the Minstrels’ original than this set. It wasn't until we started selecting shanties for each CD that we realised that Short's tune for Lucy Long is actually closely akin to So Early in the Morning although it's deceptive!
 
Hugill comments that the ‘disjointed’ rhythm of the chorus is symptomatic of early shanties designed for the jerky action of the brake-pump and lever windlass.  He also criticizes Sharp for publishing ‘wring’ rather than ‘ring’, but this is an instance where Stan’s reliance on book rather than mss. leads to a criticism that seems unjustified – if Sharp had published the ‘I wrung her all night and I wrung her all day, I wrung her before she went away’ verse (as collected and noted in his mss.), then Stan would not have been complaining!      RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Mr. Tapscott
LEAD: Sam Lee.  Melodeon – RW. Anglo concertina – KK. Fiddle – JO. CHORUS: KK, BB, TB.
 
This shanty text is more widely known as The Irish Girl, The Irish Emigrant or Yellow Meal and the texts are fairly consistent – however, this text is one of only two instances where we have deliberately changed any words: we were not prepared to use the ‘N’ word – nor did Sharp, although he noted it, so we have used his text for the ‘Foulton Ferry’ verse.
 
Short’s tune is, of course, more widely known as carrying New York Gals or Can’t You Dance the Polka (which are, arguably, text variants of Jack-All-Alone (a.k.a. Patrick Street/Barrack Street) – which used the tune of the polka Larry Doolan  (a.k.a.The Irish Jaunting Car) -  published 1852). The tune was also used for the American Civil War song The Bonny Blue Flag (1861) and subsequently for The Southern Girl’s Reply.
 
The text has also been recorded, as a shanty, sung to Heave Away, Me Johnny (to which Short sang Banks of the Sweet Dundee. The Henry Clay, The Kangaroo and the Joseph Walker are ships mentioned in variant texts and certainly the Henry Clay appeared on posters advertising Tapscott’s emigrant services.
 
This shanty may have had a special appeal to Short: ‘Tapscott’ was William Tapscott from a Minehead (Somerset) family that had lived in the town (a neighbour to Watchet) from at least the mid-1770s.  William was an American packet ship broker, with offices on Regents Road, Liverpool, and Eden Quay, Dublin. He worked in conjunction with his brother James, who looked after the New York end of the business, and specialized in selling pre-paid passages to successful immigrants who now wished to bring their families to America.  They were agents for the Black Ball Line and, at one period, also for the Red Cross Line of American packets.  Together, they fleeced the unsuspecting. The Tapscott brothers were systematic villains, whose frauds began with their advertisements: although Taspcott advertised that his passages were on ships of over 1000 tons, and even as much as 2000 tons, in fact most were barely 600 tons.
 
As their wealth increased the Tapscotts set up their own shipping line.  Cheap emigrant passages was the name of the game – but conditions were atrocious and the food poor (the 'yellow meal', i.e. corn grits, of the alternative title).  In 1849 William Tapscott was adjudged bankrupt, and in the same year was charged with fraud, concerning the money of shareholders in the business. He was found guilty and sentenced to three years' penal servitude.  The line’s eponymous ship, the 1593 ton William Tapscott, was eventually wrecked at Bude on the North Cornwall coast on the 29th March 1881 whilst on a trip from Pernambuco to Cardiff in ballast. Her figurehead, salvaged from the sea, now resides in the Bude museum.
 
Foulton Ferry is in New York, and Castle Gardens was the New York dis-embarkation point for emigrants to America where they were ‘processed’ and unwanted immigrants sent back.      RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Nancy. (I Wish I Was With Nancy)
LEAD: Tom Brown. Banjo – JW. Anglo & bass English concertinas – KK. Guitar – BW. CHORUS: BB.
 
Not published by Sharp (see note re his editorial policy under Blow Boys, Blow) – we have no idea if Short gave it to Terry. Obviously the tune is the American Civil War song I Wish I was in Dixie which, like Maryland, as Whall observes, were immediately transformed into shanties. Whall comments on its great popularity and Hugill concurs – I can vouch that its popularity lasted down to modern times.”  All shanty versions, according to Hugill, were “distinctly ribald.”  Short’s set of words (our first two verses) parodies the original only in the chorus and second verse:  ‘I wish I was in the land of cotton.’
 
The original song, from the pen of Dan Emmet in 1859 - when he was with the Dan Bryant Minstrels, was written as a new walk-around for the end of the minstrel performances. The first performance in the Southern states was in Charleston, South Carolina, in December 1860, but it was in New Orleans in March 1861 that "Dixie" was first accepted as a Southern war song.  However, soldiers from both sides wrote endless parodies: various sets of rewrites were also widespread and, as evidenced here, it also went to sea!
 
There is an almost a naive charm in the heart-felt chorus to this shanty but we admit to going (almost) over the top with this one and enjoying ourselves with the arrangement – even Keith’s sousaphone part – and then we couldn’t resist letting Jeff’s banjo have its fling – ably surrounded by Brian’s guitar.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Old Stormey (Mister Stormalong)
LEAD: Barbara Brown.  CHORUS: TB, KK.
 
The verses provided by Short (and found in many other versions) are the familiar ones concerning Stormy’s death and burial which, nowadays, are most commonly used for the General Taylor shanty.  L.A.Smith and Whall both give it as a ‘favourite’ shanty and the collectors note its solemnity or its seriousness, with Whall calling it ‘stately’.  This, they attribute to the subject matter: as Bullen explains: “It embodies all the admiration that a sailor used to feel for a great seaman: gives it expression as it were, though I have never been able to learn who the antitype of Stormalong could have been. I suspect he was just the embodiment of all the prime seamen the sailor had ever known, and in the song he voiced his heart’s admiration.”
 
There does appear to be some contradiction over its function. It is the only one of Short’s shanties that Sharp does not note a function for – all the others say ‘capstan’, ‘windlass’, ‘pulling’ etc.  Hugill claims that both Sharp and Terry publish it as a halyard shanty – they both publish it in the ‘pulling’ section of their books, although Terry does not publish Short’s version. Among the other collectors, Tozer gives it for pumps, Colcord for capstan, Doerflinger gives it in his capstan, windlass and pumps section, and Fox-Smith gives it as pumps and capstan. You pays your money, and you takes your choice!     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
One More Day
LEAD: Keith Kendrick.  Anglo concertina – KK.  Fiddle – JO. CHORUS: JM, BB, TB, JO.
 
All the published versions place this shanty firmly just before the end of a voyage – perhaps just before Leave Her Johnny, Leave Her. However, it is cited for widely different tasks – as Hugill says, “Terry and Sharp give it as capstan; Bullen and Whall as halliards; Davis and Tozer as pumps, and Miss Colcord as windlass or capstan.”  Short was very definite about how he used it – Mr. Short told me he always used this as a capstan or windlass-chantey” and, strangely, he gave Sharp ‘outward bound’ verses rather than the ‘anticipating arrival’ verses one might expect. Notwithstanding, we’ve mixed the verses and included both Hugill’s inward and Short’s outward – someone is bound to complain!
 
The repeating of a line twice in each verse and the use of a grand chorus, both of which Hugill says was commonplace, are missing in what we have come to recognize as this early version. By Hugill’s time, the shanty was, he says, more of a favourite with Yankee crews than British.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES

Paddy Doyle – SEE HAUL ON THE BOWLINE

Paddy Works On The Railway
LEAD: Keith Kendrick.  Anglo concertina – KK. Octave mandola – TB.  Fiddle – JO.
 
One of the two shanties (the other being He Back, She Back) which seem to relate to the American shore song Pat Do This . There is obviously a complex of songs, including Pat Do This, Paddy Works on the Erie, Mick Upon on the Railroad, Song of the Pinewoods and The American Railway.  The earliest record of Paddy Works On The Railway seems to be from 1864 in a manuscript from the clipper Young Australia. See the notes to He Back, She Back for more detail of the complex of related texts, locations, tunes and floating verses which it is impossible to tease out and give sequence too. To complicate things further, Colcord, Terry and Hugill also relate this shanty to When I Was Just A Shaver – but they have contrary opinions as to which was the antecedent of the other!
 
Most collectors give a version of this shanty and, as Colcord suggests, “Most versions begin Paddy’s career in 1841” although some start in 1861.  Other than that, the shanty versions vary little and avoid the confusion of floating verses found in shore versions and variants. 
 
All the verses here are from Short.  His last verse, which breaks the sequence of years, also appears in the broadside song The Press Gang and recurs in variant form, along with the occupations of other family members, in many other songs right down to modern-day rugby songs.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Poor Old Man (Johnny Come To Hilo)
LEAD: Keith Kendrick. Anglo concertina – KK. Baritone English concertina -  JW. CHORUS: BB, JO, JM.
 
This shanty also seems to derive from the minstrel repertoire.  Collectors generally give verses associated with the Christie Minstrels’ Old Uncle Ned and with Girl With the Blue Dress On.  Short gave Sharp one verse – and that the introductory verse of Dead Horse – ‘A poor old man came a-riding by’ etc.  For his Dead Horse, Short rapidly veers into a standard ‘female encounter’ text.  As a result, we’ve let this Poor Old Man pick up some other Dead Horse verses as well as other floaters.
 
The only other point to make is that although Sharp thought that “Presumably, Hilo is the seaport of that name on the east coast of Hawaii Island”, the modern consensus is that the text probably refers not to Hilo (Hawaii) – a port developed later and used by whalers - but Ylo (Peru), a longstanding guano port ~ invariably pronounced High-Low.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Rando  (Poor Old Reuben Ranzo)
LEAD: Barbara Brown. CHORUS: TB, KK.  
 
All the collectors give this as a sail-setting halyard shanty, Doerflinger in particular mentioning the t’gallants. It was widespread and popular on both English and American ships.  All the collectors spend more time speculating on who Ranzo was rather than anything else – and never reach a conclusion! Was he the Danish fleet commander (Daniel Rantzau - 1529-69) from the seven years war with Sweden, as suggested by Sharp? Or, as Whall suggests, was Ranzo a corruption of Lorenzo, since Yankee Whalers took many Portuguese men from the Azores, where Lorenzo, would have been a common enough name?  Or does the shanty derive from a Sicillian fisherman’s song, as given by Hugill, which was used at a similar job… The tune is identical with that of Reuben Ranzo and the pulls come in the same places.”?  As Terry says, Who Ranzo was must ever remain a mystery.’
 
Hugill cites this particular shanty as a classic example of the habit of overlapping verse and chorus between shantyman and crew – a technique we have kept to.  Our text is all from Short except for Terry’s ‘turkey’ verse which we’ve included to give a reason for the flogging – as if one were needed.  It is the only element in the text which, most collectors point out, is variable – the rest being noticeably consistent.
 
Short sang ‘Rando’ instead of ‘Ranzo’ consistently for both this shanty and for The Bully Boat (Ranzo Ray).  Tom has kept Rando for The Bully Boat, but Barbara has reverted to Ranzo for this one.  Perhaps it comes down to whether Short had his teeth in (but see the notes to The Bully Boat!)     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Rio Grande
LEAD: Roger Watson. English concertina – RW. Guitars – BW. CHORUS: JO.
 
All the collectors describe Rio Grande as ‘the grandest’, ‘the most popular’, or similar, of all the shanties, and as an outward-bounder – and it was John Masefield’s favourite! Two sets of words are frequently quoted: the folksong 'Where Are You Going To, My Pretty Maid?' and the ubiquitous ‘Fish of the Sea’.  Short’s version is neither, but centres around the location itself – we have added just a couple of floating verses. We’ve also taken the liberty of doubling up the verses.  Doerflinger and Fox-Smith are both of the opinion that the shanty was first sung in the Brazil trade and refers to the Rio Grande de Sul - not the Rio Grande of the Mexican border.
 
Roger's dreamy, almost melancholic, approach to the shanty brings a new perspective but still retains the steady tramp of the best capstan shanties, complemented by Brian’s sultry guitar work.  Don’t you wish you were also on the beach in Brazil for a while?     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Roll And Go (Sally Brown)
LEAD: Roger Watson. CHORUS: TB, BB, KK, DB.
 
Not to be confused with Spent My Money On Sally Brown.  L.A.Smith, Terry, Colcord and Hugill all list Roll and Go as a Capstan shanty, Colcord observing that it is “one of three prime favourites for heaving and hauling which were in the authentic form of the halliard shanty, but which were never used in hoisting sail” (Sally Brown, Shenandoah, Santy Anna).  Hugill also says (as does Terry) that “The shape of this shanty is undoubtedly that of a halyard song, but only one collector, Cecil Sharp, gives it as such” - Sharp (as advised by Short) actually publishes it as a capstan shanty! 
 
Although, by Hugill’s time, this shanty had only one theme – Sally and her daughter’, Short’s text is not on this ‘one theme’ - it is based around a less overtly sexual relationship.  Short gave Sharp more text than he actually published. It is always possible that Short may be self censoring – but there is no indication that this is the case, and from other textual evidence in Sharp’s field notebooks (e.g. see the notes to Hanging Johnny), rather the reverse. We have added just two floating verses at the end.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Rosabella
LEAD: Sam Lee. Guitars – BW. Silent melodeon - RW. CHORUS: JO, BB.
 
Possibly the most recorded shanty of all – by the folk revival – and one of the rarest in the collections!  Since we found it in Sharp’s mss in 1978, added extra floating verses, and gave it to Johnny Collins and Jim Mageean, its popularity has spread inordinately. This has been the ultimate and only source of the shanty in the revival to date.  Stan Hugill did not publish any version of Rosabella, (and nor did Sharp or anyone else) although Stan did at one time suggest that it was a version of his Saucy Arabella – we beg to differ!  (It has become evident that, although Stan referred to Sharp’s book English Folk Chanteys, he did not closely examine the Sharp mss. – the result was that he missed some important stuff and wrongly criticised some of Sharp’s editorial choices.)
 
Back in 1978, we thought John Short’s was the only version of Rosabella that had been collected.  Since then we have found two single-verse versions in the Carpenter collection which approximate to Short’s version (from John McPherson in South Shields and J. Scott in London) and another version in Folklore and the Sea (Beck. 1973) which is less obviously related but, in one verse, shares the motif of one ship beating another in a race - as in the Scott version.  Following e-conversations with, and information from, Dr. Jonathan Lighter, Professor of English at the University of Tennessee, around the almost indecipherable Carpenter words, and the fact that Rosabella appeared frequently in the Boston newspapers of the 1850s, we decided to recast the words for Rosabella.  Given these ‘new’ discoveries and with the assistance of Stan Hugill’s book Sailortown, we’ve ended up with this new set of words.  The tune, the ‘Monday morning’ verse, and the chorus are from Short; the ‘Packet ship of great renown’ verse originates with McPherson; the Cuyanoda/Conductor verse is interpreted from Scott.  The other three standard floating verses had originally been borrowed and used back in 1978 - they are adapted here to ‘fit’ with Hugill’s comments about Boston and to localize and personalise them to that port.
 
Oh yes, and we gave Rosabella to Sam as he was probably the one amongst us who was least ‘contaminated’ by the 1978 version!  And then Sam’s style of swinging the shanty just cried out for Brian to add his guitars – apologies to all purists – yet again (although, given that we put the shanty into currency in the first place, not too many apologies)! (If you want to know about Roger Watson's silent melodeon, you'll have to ask Tom).     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Round the Corner Sally
LEAD: Jim Mageean. CHORUS: TB, BB, KK, DB.
 
Both Sharp and Terry claim not to have heard this shanty from any source other than John Short. Stan Hugill once again says “My version is one of Harding’s” (i.e. 'Harding the Barbadian barbarian' from whom Stan, in his Shanties of the Seven Seas, claims his own versions of eleven shanties that John Short, otherwise virtually alone, had versions of).  Colcord and Hugill both quote this shanty as being the one referred to by Dana in Two Years Before the Mast.
 
Short’s text is more usually associated with the shanty Do Let Me Go (or Doodle Let Me Go – there’s that extra interpolated consonant again!) to which Short sang a version of Blow The Candle Out.  Out text is Short’s with the addition of the lines ‘To Callao through ice and snow’ and ‘It’s round the corner we will go’.
 
It may be noted that the two parts of the tune - an ‘A’ (and ‘A variant’) and a ‘B’ phrase – are almost the same but the second is a tone higher.  Sharp’s notes say of Short He always began with A twice and then afterwards varied A & B as he pleased”.  The tune ‘A variant’ has the note – “This is the usual phrase in this bar of the tune”.  Jim has recorded it as such, simply alternating the ‘A’ and ‘B’ phrases after the introduction.    RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Rowler Bowler
LEAD: Barbara Brown. Fiddles – JO. CHORUS: KK.
 
This, of course, is NOT the Good Morning Ladies All with which it is sometimes confused.  It is another shanty that seems to have greater life in the revival than it does in the old collections. To quote Stan Hugill yet again: “Sharp’s version, the only one in print until now, seems to be a Liverpool shanty.  It was definitely sung aboard West Indian Sugar and Rum Traders.  Another of the Negro-Irish type of sailor work-song.  Presumably Stan bases his ‘Liverpool’ comment on the fact that Short’s verse includes ‘Playhouse Square’.  There is little that can be added. This text is pretty much all Short with a couple of floating verses (‘flipper’ and ‘skint’) added.   RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Santy Anna / Whip Jamboree
[Santy Anna] LEAD: Roger Watson.  Melodeon – RW. CHORUS: TB, BB, KK, SL, DB.
[instrumental bridge] Fiddle – JO. Melodeon – TB. English concertina – TB. Anglo concertina – KK.
[Whip Jamboree] LEAD: Tom Brown.  Melodeon – TB.  Anglo concertina – KK.  Fiddle – JO. CHORUS: KK BB DB.
 
For Santy Anna, the collectors - almost all of whom have versions - expend their notes mostly on the history of Santy Anna rather than on the shanty itself.  For what it’s worth we’ll quote Terry as the most succinct: “Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (1795‑1876) was the last President of Mexico before the annexation by America of California, Texas, and New Mexico.  He defeated the Spaniards at Zampico, and held Vera Cruz against the French, but was badly beaten at Molina del Rey by the United States Army under General Taylor (1847). He was recalled to the Mexican Presidency in 1853, but overthrown in 1855. He attempted to overturn the Republic in 1867; was captured and sentenced to death, but was pardoned on condition that he left the country. He retired to the United States until 1872, when a general amnesty allowed his return to Mexico.”  ‘Old Rough and Ready’ General Zachary Taylor would later become the twelfth President of the United States (1848-50).
 
Another Mexican military officer (and later Mexican President) makes his appearance in John Short’s text, namely José Victoriano Huerta Márquez (22/12/1850 – 13/1/1916).  He graduated from military academy in 1877 and thereafter rose quickly in position – Short’s verse is therefore an entirely contemporary reference.  Huerta did not become President until Feb 1913, a position he held for 17 months only.
 
A fine shanty and a great favourite, say the collectors - and who are we to argue? All give it as a capstan or windlass shanty although, as Colcord points out, it was one of three prime favourites for heaving and hauling which were in the authentic form of the halliard shanty, but which were never used in hoisting sail” – she cites Sally Brown, Shenandoah and Santy Anna.  What is meant here, of course, is the simple line-chorus-line-chorus structure. True to period, Short’s version has no grand chorus – Colcord didn’t expect it, and Hugill tells us that grand choruses were a later development.
 
The tune of Santy Anna and the tune of Short’s Whip Jamboree are remarkably similar and both are close kin to the first phrase of the Irish tune King of the Fairies – as their juxtaposition on this recording demonstrates! We have also kept to the full æolian splendour of the Whip Jamboree tune as sung by Short.
 
Whip Jamboree is another shanty published only by Sharp (I know of no other version of this chantey except one”) and Terry (I have never heard this shanty from anyone save Mr. Short) and, of course, Hugill “many of my verses I had from… a Welsh mate who served in many sailing ships.”) Whall prints a version slightly different in structure but with a variant of the same tune. The text is however, distinctly different as is Sharp’s other published version (from George Conway).  Sharp’s second tune is, again, a variant on the same tune as before.
 
Sharp acknowledges ‘a negro influence’ on the words of the chorus, and Whall also claims a minstrel origin for the song.  The minstrel song Whoop Jamboree (as sung by Daniel Emmett’s Virginia Minstrels, circa 1850, and published in ‘Christy’s Panorama Songster’) is an ‘imitation of the Mississippi riverboatmen’ and bears no textual similarity to collected shanty versions, although it may have some claim to being an influence on the sea song.  Both Sharp and Terry comment on the ejaculative ‘Whoop’ or ‘Whup’ in the singing of the chorus.
 
It has sometimes been claimed that ‘get your oat cakes done’ was a euphemism or substitution for something decidedly more bawdy – it may be a euphemism, like ‘fire down below’ or ‘seeing the promised land’ and, if so, would be understood as such and not as alternative - nor bowdlerization.  Hugill seems obsessed with the bawdiness, and the camouflage of it, of the chorus of this shanty – and therefore follows Whall – claiming that the words were ‘unprintable’. There is no evidence that Short is camouflaging text in his version [see also notes to Hanging Johnny] and, indeed, ‘getting your oatcakes done’ (or more often ho-cakes) is not uncommon in stage minstrelsy (e.g. American Negro Folk Songs, by Newman I. White). The longer I think about it, the more likely it seems that Jenny getting her oat-cakes done derives from a misunderstanding, a mishearing or (more perversely) a deliberate mis-reading of getting her ho-cakes done. Ho-cakes are in origin, I am informed, corn-bread cakes that were cooked over a fire on a hoe (or similar implement). Whatever the origin, we have no reason to think that Short’s version needs ‘restoring’ in any way – although we have substituted ‘sailor’ for ‘black man’ in the chorus in deference to modern sensibilities, and the ‘me’ has been dropped after ‘behind’ in the chorus just to get all the words in!
 
In view of the above, it seems that ‘come and get your oats my son’, as an alternative last line in the chorus, is solely a modern revival attempt to introduce a more bawdy euphemism. Although there were undoubtedly bawdy and downright filthy versions of many shanties, we cannot go along with the notion that this was the inevitable norm.  There are some shanty singers and collectors who seem to be obsessed with ‘dirty’ versions – and with not publishing them. It may say more about them than the material they deal with.
 
Sharp’s notes read: the Rock Light is in Cheshire, at the mouth of the Mersey.  ‘Old Dan Lowrie’s’, Mr. Short said, was a popular playhouse in Paradise Street, Liverpool, near the Waterloo Dock, much frequented by sailors.”  Short gave Sharp three verses and those plus an additional one to Terry. The entire text, therefore, comes from Short.   RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Shallow Brown
LEAD: Jim Mageean. CHORUS: TB, BB, KK, DB.
 
Short’s words are of the set more usually associated, in the revival, with Blow, Boys, Blow.  Hugill also notes this and comments that Sharp’s published version of the tune has the solo tune of Hilo, Boys, Hilo.  The shanty has necessitated some degree of interpretation! – Sharp’s manuscript (and published version) varies between 2:4 and 3:4 and the song was also sung very freely.  Short was obviously not happy with his own singing of it to Sharp. Sharp’s notes reflect the difficulties:
 
“(1) This is a very curious chantey. The above (shown) was how Short began it.  When he continued the next verse he put that down a tone, thus” (two bars follow).
(2) After two or three more verses this got so low that he said ‘I must get my voice higher’ and raised it for next verse more or less to original A.  Very possibly the 3rd verse should begin on the original A, so that the phrases run alternately as A & G.”
 
With Jim Mageean’s expertise behind it, we arrived at the recording you can hear.  It seems to work entirely satisfactorily and rather delightfully rocking between what can be thought of as the dominant and sub-dominant of the root key. And it is completely in keeping with Short’s style in other shanties.  But we accept that the notation does remain more open to alternative interpretations than most of Short’s versions.    RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Shanadore (Shenandoah)
LEAD: Barbara Brown & Keith Kendrick. Guitars - BW. CHORUS: BB, KK.
 
A shanty that is usually sung very freely – despite it’s being invariably cited as a capstan or windlass shanty.  Sharp comments that “The tune is always irregular in its rhythm” and notated Short’s version in 3:2 varying into 2:2.  However, Short’s beautiful version works perfectly and regularly (as it would need to for capstan work) if notated in 2:4 – and sounds no different!
 
Another anecdote of Short is worth recounting here: Several years after he had initially introduced his parishioner, John Short, to Cecil Sharp, the Rev. Alan Brockington – by now a vicar in Liverpool - wrote to The Times in response to a discussion about the origins of Shenandoah, going on to say that: I visited Mr. Short again in 1928.  My wife was with me, and I asked him to sing Shanadar for her benefit.  He said: “I don’t know as I like Shanadar.” I wondered why he did not like the song, and then I remembered that that we had omitted from the published book one line he had sung in 1914, on account of its – well, unsuitability.  Mr. Short seeing a lady was present and being too old to change his words at a moment’s notice, escaped from his embarrassment by saying that he did not like the song.  Whereas in 1914, it was the only tune that, of his own proper volition, and without any remark from Cecil Sharp, he had praised.’  The line, duly noted in Sharp’s notebook and faithfully recorded on the CD is, of course:
 
Oh Shanadar, I love your daughter
I love the place she makes her water.
 
Hugill commented that: This is one of the shanties collectors have always thought to be clean, but when crossed, as it often was, with Sally Brown (owing to her having a daughter like Shenandoah) not even the most broadminded collector could call it clean.’  Yankee Jack’s version does court Sally, but never descends to filth – unless, of course, Short was hiding behind his frequent ‘bound away’ verses!  Most collectors tend to make similar comments to Terry, who did not publish Short’s version, but wrote: This is one of the most famous of all shanties. I never met a sailor to whom it was unknown, nor have I ever found any two who sang it exactly alike. This version (sung to me by Capt. Robertson) is almost, but not quite, identical with the one I learnt as a boy.  Shenandoah (English seamen usually pronounce it 'Shannandore') was a celebrated Indian chief after whom an American town is named.  A branch of the Potomac river bears the same name. The tune was always sung with great feeling and in very free rhythm.’  So you pays your money, and you takes your choice – but we’ve come to really like John Short’s version of the tune – sung here with a regular capstan timing!     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Sing Fare You Well
LEAD:  Keith Kendrick.  Anglo concertina – KK. Fiddle - JO. CHORUS: TB, BB, JO, KK, DB.  
 
This shanty is not to be confused with Whall’s or L.A. Smith’s Goodbye, Fare Thee Well , with which it shares some verses, Fox-Smith’s Fare You Well , or other versions more widely known as Homeward Bound Short did not sing this shanty to Sharp, but he did sing it to Terry who published it with the comment that  This was also sung to me by Mr. Short. I had not heard it before, nor does it appear in any other collection.”  It is the only shanty that Short sang to Terry and not to Sharp. Whall publishes it under the title of O Fare Ye Well, My Bonnie Young Girl calling it a Negro song which was a favourite in London ships.  Hugill calls it Hurrah, Sing Fare You Well and with a tune very similar to Short’s.
 
The text is Short’s although, where Terry has published the same line twice in a verse, we have replaced the second line with the more usual rhyming line from these common floating verses. Hugill tells us that some shanties commonly had repeated lines in each verse but nowhere is this evident as a part of John Short’s style – hence our amendment of the few repeated-line verses published by Terry.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
So Early in the Morning  (The Sailor Likes His Bottle O)
LEAD: Jeff Warner.  CHORUS: TB, BB, JW, DB.
 
Fox-Smith’s comment to this shanty is interesting: “This must be a real old stager. It was sung in the Blackwallers three quarters of a century ago [i.e. 1850s], but it was probably an old song then. I have never come across a modern sailing ship man who knew it. She also comments that the tune reminds her of The Fly has Married the Bumble Bee – whilst Sharp comments that The tune is a close variant of Gently Johnny my Jingalo.”  Colcord’s comments are equally intriguing: Singular among halliard-shanties, both for its rather languorous waltz-time measures, and because instead of the usual pattern of solo-chorus, solo-chorus, it has one long chorus at the end of each verse. Not in common use on American ships.”  Sharp noted the tune in 6/8, rather than 3/4, but it manages to retain Colcord’s ‘languorous’ attribution. The tune is deceptively simple, but can transform into one as unusual as Lucy Long to which is close kin. Sharp and Colcord both note the chorus as being used as an introductory line.
 
So, perhaps we can summarise thus:- we seem to have an early form (before the ubiquitous use of the grand chorus) of a pulling shanty that is English in origin, uncommon in American ships, and did not last widely in the repertoires of shantymen. So we gave it to a modern American to lead!  The text is largely Short with a couple of additional verses from the general lists of girls.  RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Stormalong John (Stormy Along, John)
LEAD: Jim Mageean. English concertina – KK. Melodeon bass – TB. CHORUS: BB, KK.
 
This is the version of ‘Stormalong’ that Colcord, in her notes to ‘Mister Stormalong’, gives as “Another version, differing somewhat both in words and tune, [which was] was used for pumping.” Terry lists this version as one of a dozen or more shanties which mourn Stormy: L.A.Smith believes it to be the oldest of the ‘Stormy’ shanties – and the best: Hugill merely includes it in the series, without further comment. It has also been pointed out to me by Charley Noble that Stormalong may also derive from a minstrel source in the form of Stormy Along Stormy (White's New Ethiopian Song Book. Peterson & Bros., Philadelphia. 1854.)
 
Our additional verses have been chosen to avoid duplicating the verses we’ve used for Short’s Old Stormey ~ in practice the shantyman would use either for both, as it were!  RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Sweet Nightingale
LEAD: Sam Lee & Jackie Oates. Fiddle – JO.
 
Not a shanty, of course – although Sharp initially noted it as ‘capstan’ - later scoring the word through.  He did not publish it.  The Rev. Brockington later quoted Short as saying “'tis not a shanty, but I often used to sing it on board ship.”  It was one of Short’s favourites (one wonders how many other songs he had apart from the shanties!) and he is noted as singing it at the Watchet Manorial Court Leet dinner in 1931 – at the age of 92 – when he “entertained the company with shanties and Sweet Nightingale.
 
The oldest form of the song seems to have its origins in a Thomas Arne operetta of 1761, called Thomas and Sally, as a dialogue between the Squire and Sally.  Apart from one Sussex version which retains an Arne verse containing cows and violets, all the other versions collected in the field (as it were) are remarkably similar, and distinct from the Arne dialogue – a fact which would usually indicate dissemination from a singular broadside text (however often that text may have been published).  What distinguishes Short's version from the more widely known Cornish version that was popularised by Charlie Bate, is the first stressed note on the supertonic which has the knock-on effect of eventually varying the third and fourth lines - not easy to master if you're used to Cornish variant of the tune.
 
Since we gave it to Sam and Jackie to record for the project, we discovered that it was often sung in the West Coutry as a dialogue/duet piece – serendipity!  On the CDs it is recorded as a ‘bonus track’ – apart from the shanties, but there for the sake of completeness.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Times Are Hard and Wages Low (Leave Her Johnny, Leave Her)
LEAD: Jeff Warner. Banjo – JW.  English concertina – KK. Melodeon bass – TB.  CHORUS: TB, BB, KK, DB.
 
Published in pretty well all the collections, this shanty has solidly consistent attributions - Tozer: Sung when getting into port and preparatory to leaving the vessel; Bullen: Sums up all the hatred of a ship that had been accumulating during the voyage. To sing it before the last day or so was almost tantamount to mutiny, and was apt, even at the latest date to be fiercely resented by Captain and Officers; Sharp: “This chantey was usually sung when getting into port, the chantey-man seizing this opportunity to express the crew’s dissatisfaction with the ship they were about to leave”; Colcord “reserved for the last task after the ship was fast to the pier – the last spell at the pumps”; Doerflinger: “Traditional last shanty of the voyage. This was sung during the final spell at the pumps, in a wooden ship, as the vessel, her canvas furled, lay snug at her pier, another long passage over. Only one final task – to pump her dry”; Hugill: “Function was that of airing grievances just prior to the completion of the voyage either by warping the vessel in through the locks or at the final spell of the pumps”.
 
Melody and structure are very similar in all the published versions, and both reveal that the shanty originated in shore songs such as Across The Rockies, Amelia Where You Bound To? and Across The Western Ocean, which itself is arguably the oldest form of this shanty proper.  Short’s verses are not the most vicious or critical that have been recorded. The shanty has been extended by the addition of four common floating verses at the end.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Tom’s Gone To Ilo
LEAD: Sam Lee.
 
The shanty was popular and widespread, appearing in pretty well every collection. Both Terry and Fox-Smith comment that the game was to take Tommy around the world to as many three-syllable ports as you could remember without getting stuck for a rhyme.  The modern consensus, anticipated by Tozer, Colcord and Hugill, is that the Hilo referred to is the Peruvian port of Ylo (or Ilo), rather than the Hawaiian port of Hilo which was only so named after the shanty was born. (see also the notes to Poor Old Man).
 
It is always nice when you find a description of the circumstances in which a specific shanty might be used, and Doerflinger quotes Dick Maitland as saying this was used “after a heavy blow, getting more sail on the ship. The decks are full of water and the men cannot keep their feet. The wind has gone down but the seas are running heavy. A big comber comes over the rail; the men are washed away from the rope. If it wasn’t for the man at the end of the rope gathering in the slack as the men pull, all the work would have to be done over again.” Hugill also gives us a glimpse of usage – “a tops’l halyard song, and one which never found favour with the afterguard, as it took too long to hoist a yard to it on account of the slow and lethargic way it was sung by a good shantyman. It was rather difficult to sing correctly, but even so it was popular with the crowd, particularly for heavy lifts.”
 
We have sought to use a different set of verses to those we’ve used for Tommy’s Gone Away, although in actual use all the verses would have been interchangeable. If Jeff Warner’s rendition of A Hundred Years Ago is our closest to authenticity, then Sam’s recording of this shanty is probably furthest away as he explores timing and melodic extemporization.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Tommy’s Gone (Tommy's Gone Away)
LEAD: Jackie Oates. Fiddles, Viola, Octave fiddle – JO. Reprise – KK & JM.
 
Sharp, Terry and, of course, Hugill are the only collectors to have published Tommy’s Gone Away, and all regard it as a version of Tom’s Gone to Ilo/Hilo/Ylo.  Definitely not a short-haul shanty. Sharp and Terry both had it from Short: Hugill says “My version from S.Wales seaman who had served in the copper trade.” This becomes interesting, because another very close version of Tommy’s Gone Away is in the Carpenter collection having been collected at Barry Docks, S.Wales (and recorded by Callenig on their Trade Winds CD).  So is this particularly shanty a Bristol Channel and/or copper trade version? (Short did sail in the copper trade, on the Conference to Callao in 1867/68 – and he had been familiar with the Bristol Channel since a boy).  Whatever it’s ‘location’ in the period when Carpenter and subsequently Hugill were amassing material, Sharp’s notes from Short (who was learning it up to half a century earlier) say the shanty was “Used not only for pulling, but, at New Orleans, for screwing the cotton for loading to set the bales in – screwing it up into a very small compass.”  Short evidently used similar verses for both Tom’s Gone to Ilo and Tommy’s Gone Away – we have sought to use different locations in the two recordings.  Jackie’s arrangement offers a really melancholic feel to the song – perhaps as many a seaman would have wished the girl they left behind to feel!
 
Arguably the tune is the same as that used for A Hundred Years Ago which see.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Whip Jamboree – SEE SANTY ANNA
Whisky Is My Johnny
LEAD:  Jim Mageean. CHORUS: KK, BB, TB.
 
All those who publish the shanty, except Stan Hugill, state that it is a halyard shanty: Stan does not dis-agree, but particularly mentions t’gallant or tops’l halyards and also says it was used “even while stamping round the capstan”.  Versions show little or no variation.  Colcord claims it as one of the oldest of the halyard shanties, but otherwise there is little or no remark about it and all versions, as L.A.Smith says, “bear upon the same subject, and none betraying much delicacy or refinement of expression.”  We have extended John Short’s five verses with other standard verses from other sources – although, of course, they may well be superfluous for a short-haul task.   RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Won’t You Go My Way?
LEAD: Jeff Warner. Banjo – JW. Fiddle – JO. Chorus - BB, JO.
 
Yet another shanty that comes only from Short. Sharp said:This is not, I believe, published elsewhere, nor have I collected any variants”, Terry: charming shanty was sung to me by Mr. Short. I have not met any other sailor that knows it”, and Hugill: I picked it up in the West Indies. Terry and Sharp both give a version much the same as mine.”  Terry is also implicitly critical of Sharp over this shanty: A version (differing from the present one in the music of bar 9, and the words of verses 5 & 6) is given in C.J.Sharp’s collection, taken down from Mr. Short’s singing, also. Mr. Short may have exercised the shantyman’s privilege of varying melody or words at will. At any rate, I have set both down as he sang them to me. ” In view of this comment, one might expect both verses and tune to vary but, checking the notations, it is noticeable that the Sharp and Terry notations are actually identical!
 
Sharp noted that Short told him: “Sometimes used for screwing cotton in the hold in loading but usually for ordinary pulling.”
 
In respect of the text, “I asked this girl to marry – she said she’d rather tarry” comes from the minstrel song Lucy Long.  I can’t help but feel that Short is reworking the song and making comment on his own view and situation: commending ‘marry, never tarry’ and then the sudden, apparently unrelated, appearance of ‘Julia, Anna, Maria’ – he was a happily married and dedicated husband to Ann Marie, who was severely crippled with arthritis in later years. The three verses ‘She spent me money freely’, ‘Now that I am married’ and ‘Round her up so hearty’ are borrowed from Hugill – the remainder are Short’s.     RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
Crossing The Bar - Tennyson
LEAD: Jeff Warner. Baritone English concertina - JW. Fiddle - JO. Chorus - BB, TB, KK.
 
This is not, of course a shanty - or even a folk-song - nor was it sung by John Short. This is a bonus track which we have simply chosen to include on vol.3 of the CDs.  Crossing The Bar is a poem, written by Alfred Lord Tennyson in 1889, and it has been set to music over ninety times by composers as diverse as Ralph Vaughan Williams and John Philip Sousa. The poem was read as part of John Short's funeral service on Easter Saturday, the 15th April 1933, and it seems entirely appropriate to what we know of the man and his attitudes.  This exquisite setting, by Rani Arbo of Connecticut, has been recorded by Jeff before, on one of his own CDs, and we have subsequently used it in live performances related to John Short. We just couldn't resist including it as a bonus track - enjoy!   RETURN TO LIST OF SHANTIES
THE SSS PROJECT
The entire project covers not just the shanties that John Short gave to Cecil Sharp, as issued on the 3-CD set.  It also includes a biography of John Short: A SAILOR’S LIFE ~ The life and times of John Short of Watchet 1839–1933. The book includes not only Short's personal history but the international context of commerce, commodities and wars through which he sailed, together with the history of the particular ships he sailed in and, of course, his shanties.  An illustrated talk - Short Sharp Shanties - is available for arts venues, festivals and local clubs and workshops for schools on shanties, their history, uses and making new 'shanties' are also avaialble. For further information, contact UmberMusic HERE    TOP
THE CDs
Performed by:
Jim Mageean, Jeff Warner, Keith Kendrick, Jackie Oates, Roger Watson, Sam Lee, Brian Willoughby, Tom Brown, Barbara Brown, Doug Bailey.
Available by downloading and order form HERE.
SHORT SHARP SHANTIES Vol.1 WGS381
1.         Sing Fare You Well - Keith Kendrick
2.         The Blackball Line - Roger Watson
3.         Mr. Tapscott - Sam Lee
4.         A Hundred Years on the Eastern Shore - Jeff Warner
5.         Fire! Fire! - Jackie Oates
6.         Hanging Johnny - Tom Brown
7.         Rio Grande - Roger Watson
8.         Cheerly Man - Barbara Brown
9.         Poor Old Man - Keith Kendrick
10.       The Bully Boat - Tom Brown 
11.       Stormalong John - Jim Mageean
12.       Blow Boys Blow - Tom Brown
13.       Carry Him to the Burying Ground - Sam Lee
14.       Bulgine Run - Barbara Brown
15.       Shallow Brown - Jim Mageean
16.       Won’t You Go My Way? - Jeff Warner
17.       Blow Boys, Come Blow Together - Keith Kendrick
18.       Tommy’s Gone - Jackie Oates
SHORT SHARP SHANTIES Vol.2 WGS382
1.   Rowler Bowler - Barbara Brown
2.   Whisky Is My Johnny - Jim Mageean
3.   So Early in the Morning  - Jeff Warner
4.   Boney Was A Warrior - Jackie Oates
5.   Lucy Long - Tom Brown
6.   Roll And Go - Roger Watson
7.   Tom’s Gone To Ilo - Sam Lee
8.   Huckleberry Hunting - Barbara Brown
9.   Haul On The Bowline/Paddy Doyle/Johnnie Bowker - Keith/Jim/Tom
10.  Santy Anna/Whip Jamboree - Roger Watson/Tom Brown
11.  Good Morning Ladies All - Jeff Warner
12.  Knock A Man Down - Sam Lee
13.  Shanadore - Barbara Brown & Keith Kendrick
14.  A-roving - Jim Mageean
15.  Times Are Hard & Wages Low - Jeff Warner
16.  I Wish I Was With Nancy - Tom Brown
17.  One More Day - Keith Kendrick
18.  BONUS TRACK: Sweet Nightingale - Jackie Oates & Sam Lee

SHORT SHARP SHANTIES vol.3
1.   Rosabella - Sam Lee
2.   Dead Horse - Keith Kendrick
3.   Heave Away My Johnny
4.   Bully In The Alley - Tom Brown
5.   Liza Lee - Jim Mageean
6.   Hog eyed Man - Jackie Oates
7.   Old Stormey - Barbara Brown
8.   The Bullgine Run  - Sam Lee
9.   Billy Riley - Jeff Warner
10.  Handy My Girls (So Handy) - Keith Kendrick
11.  Clear Away The Morning Dew - Jim Mageean
12.  Ranzo - Barbara Brown
13.  Paddy Works On The Railway - Keith Kendrick
14.  He Back, She Back - Jeff Warner
15.  Round the Corner Sally - Jim Mageean
16.  Do Let Me Go - Jackie Oates
17.  Haul Away Joe - Sam Lee
18.  Lowlands - Jeff Warner
19.  Homeward Bound - Roger Watson
20.  BONUS TRACK: Crossing the Bar - Jeff Warner

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Short Sharp Shanties Vol. 1 ~ reviews:
The songs are bloody marvellous, with strong anthemic choruses and often simple but highly effective tunes that have something in common with both playground songs and the best rock’n'roll classics.  Gavin Atkin: In the boatshed
Rattling good performances. Keith Kendrick's languid concertina playing and singing mark him out as a master craftsman, while Jim Mageean's leathery old shellback Stormalong John is the work of a true Old Master. Tom Brown's Bully Boat (Ranzo) is a joy, while the banjo playing and gravelly singing of America's Jeff Warner will hopefully contribute more next time.  Neither should anyone be sexist: Barbara Brown is an excellent shantyman, while Jackie Oates does poignant beautifully closing the set with Tommy's Gone. This CD is a more than worthwhile investment. Congratulations to all concerned in its making.  Colin Cater: Mardles
 
This is a real treasure chest (pun intended!) of shanties that can only be enhanced by the production of the next two volumes. I can't wait to hear them. Derek Gifford: Folk Northwest.
 
Very, very good. Top class singing and playing throughout, never mind the interesting versions of the songs. Banjiman: Mudcat
If you expect every shanty to be belted out at full volume then you are going to be a little disappointed with this.  A good proportion go off in full bodied bar-room style but each singer gives his or her own interpretation which gives interesting variations and variety to the finished product.  This CD comes with a buy recommendation not just for the shanty specialist but for the general listener too. Peter Crabbe-Wyke: Folk London
 
The effect is one of emotion recollected in tranquillity from ‘a long time ago’, and it is both effective and at times moving.  Nevertheless, the listener is well aware that this is a collection of work songs.  Whose steps around the capstan would fail to be galvanised by the brisk rhythms of Keith Kendrick’s ‘Poor Old Man’ or the sinuous melismata of Sam Lee’s ‘Carry Him to the Burying Ground’?  The whole CD, sometimes reflective, like Jackie Oates’s ‘Tommy’s Gone’, with its instrumental breaks, sometimes more wild, like Barbara Brown’s ‘Bulgine Run’, is a fine piece of work which makes one look forward to its companion volumes.  Roy Palmer: English Dance & Song
 
These renditions are invariably refreshingly different from the standard lusty shanty-crew outings we’re accustomed to hearing – not just in textual matters but in character too.  Roger Watson’s treatment of Rio Grande, for instance, is supremely wistful, while Jackie Oates’ take on the pumping shanty Fire Down Below is both unexpected and delightful (and her tender Tommy’s Gone Away variant, which closes the disc, is truly a thing of beauty), and Sam’s doleful moaning version of General Taylor takes its cues from the extraordinarily wilful melodic lines scrupulously notated by Sharp.  Jim turns in a definitive account of the not-often-heard Stormy Along, John.  This stimulating release should have a wide appeal outwith shanty specialists.  David Kidman: Folk Roundabout
  
Revival singers, have tended to draw largely on the Hugill collection for their maritime morceaux. Maybe that will change with the arrival of this CD and its two companion volumes, due for release later in the year.  Together they represent Short’s entire shantey repertoire, and as such they’re an important and welcome resource.  Perhaps surprisingly, the crew includes two female singers.  Jackie Oates’ wispy, girlish tones add a pleasing texture to the choruses and draw the secret tenderness out of Tommy’s Gone; and Barbara Brown has a shantey-voice that would strip the paint from the bulwarks.  Everything here is satisfyingly singable.  As a listening experience, too, Short Sharp Shanties holds the attention throughout.  It’s as bracing as a force 6 out of Finisterre, and the strange, yearning quality of some of these shanties is expertly captured too. Vols 2 and 3: bring ‘em on...  Raymond Greenoaken - Stirrings
 
The series of three CDs of which this is the first will present Short’s entire repertoire but this is neither a dry, historical work nor a grog-fuelled bellow.  No one will be surprised at the presence of Keith Kendrick, Jim Mageean and Tom and Barbara Brown, nor Jeff Warner representing the Americas, or even Roger Watson, but Sam Lee and Jackie Oates? 
Nothing is quite what you'd expect and the performances are equally individual. So Roger Watson’s version of ‘Rio Grande’ is positively melancholic, reflecting not the excitement of setting out for foreign parts, but trepidation at the outset of a long and difficult voyage, while Warner’s ‘Won’t You Go My Way’ has a distinct blues tinge. 
Although each shanty has its leader, this is very much an ensemble piece with both instruments and choruses provided by the other members of the company.  Sometimes the result is a robust working song, sometimes a delicate expression of emotion. This is a superb record.  Dai Jefferies - R2/Rock'n'Reel

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