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.