A.L.Lloyd* & Ewan MacColl & Chorus With Alf Edwards ‎– The Blackball Line

Topic Records ‎– T.8, Topic Records ‎– T 8
Vinyl, 8", 33 ⅓ RPM


A1 Ewan MacColl The Blackball Line
A2 A. L. Lloyd Do Me Ama
A3 A. L. Lloyd Reuben Ranzo
A4 Ewan MacColl The Handsome Cabin Boy
A5 A. L. Lloyd A Hundred Years Ago
B1 Ewan MacColl Stormalong
B2 A. L. Lloyd The Coast Of Peru
B3 Ewan MacColl The Gauger
B4 A. L. Lloyd Sally Racket


Issued in a laminated flipback sleeve opening at the top.

Notes on back read:

The songs on this disc are either work songs - sea shanties - or diversionary songs - foc'sle songs or forebitters - sung during the evening dog watch, when the men gathered round a squeeze-box in the foc'sle or, in fair weather, sat around the bitts or around the fore-hatch.The great days of silor-singing were in the first two thirds of the nineteenth century, when the really fast ships were evolved. When " if the men don't sing right, the ship don't move right " was the axiom, and a good shanty-man was always sure of a job on a fast clipper. Roughly, shanties are of three kinds ; capstan shanties, used for such jobs as weighing anchor ; halliard shanties for hoisting the heavy yards ; short drag shanties for taking in slack or hauling on sheets and braces

Notes based on material supplied by A.L.LLOYD and EWEN MacCALL

1 / THE BLACKBALL LINE. - Ships of this line had a red swallow tail flag with a black ball in the middle.They ran from New York to Liverpool

2 / DO ME AMA. - Afoc'sle song.This version is a little fuller than those printed.

3 / REUBEN RANZO. - Ahalyard shanty.Ranzo is probably a corruption of Lorenzo,and refers to men from the Azores who shipped aboard whalers.

4 / THE HANDSOME CABIN BOY. - A 19th century broadside ballad,that remained a steady seller in fairs and back streets of provincial
towns for more than sixty years.

5 / A HUNDRED YEARS AGO. - A halliard shanty deriving from a mid nineteenth century minstrel song. " A Long Time Ago ".


1 / STORMALONG. - A shanty for manning the capstan or pumps.

2 / THE COAST OF PERU. - Is a song from the hey-day of Pacific spermwhaling ;betweeen the 1790's and the 1840's.

3 / THE GAUGER. - A gauger is an exciseman. This song dates from about 150 years ago, when liquor smuggling was going strong
on the South-East coast of Scotland.

4 / SALLY RACKET. - This version of the song probably comes from the ships running to the West Indies.
The tune resembles the Jamaican tune Mr. Ramgoat.