Tag Archives: sailor

Get Up, Jack! John, Sit Down!

TITLE: Get Up, Jack! John, Sit Down! AUTHOR: Words: Edward Harrigan / Music: David Braham CATEGORY: Author Known, Public Domain KEYWORDS: sailor, work, drink EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: 1885 (“Old Lavender”) According to Sigmund Spaeth, A History of Popular Music in America Random House, 1948, pp. 186-187, the late 1870s saw a series of musical skits called the Mulligan series. read more »

Sailing, Sailing

TITLE: Sailing, Sailing AUTHOR: Godfrey Marks CATEGORY: Author Known, Public Domain KEYWORDS: sailor, sea, ship, home EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: 1880 (sheet music) James Frederick Swift, who wrote under the pseudonym of Godfrey Marks, was born in Manchester in 1847, became an organist and composer and died in Wallasey, Cheshire, in 1931. The complete lyrics and music are read more »

Lord Franklin

TITLE: Lord Franklin AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain KEYWORDS: sailor, wife, death, exploration, Eskimo (Inuit) EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: 1878 (Faulkner, Eighteen Months on a Greenland Whaler); broadside versions probably date from the period 1850-1853 HISTORICAL REFERENCES: Franklin’s fourth expedition to the Arctic in 1845 was the one this song is about. See more about Sir read more »

John B. Sails, The

TITLE: The John B. Sails AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS: ship, sailor, hardtimes, cook, Caribbean EARLIEST DATE: 1927 Carl Sandburg, The American Songbag Although the pop group, “The Beach Boys” brought this Bahamian folk song to international popularity in the 1960s, the story behind the “Sloop John B.,” or as it’s originally called, “The John B. Sails,” read more »

Fish of the Sea, The (Blow Ye Winds Westerly)

TITLE: The Fish of the Sea (Blow Ye Winds Westerly) AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS: fishing, bragging, sailor EARLIEST DATE: 1904 (Reeves-Sharp) This shanty probably originated as a Scottish fisherman’s song. It was also popular with Gloucester fishermen in the American Northeast. 

As I Roved Out (Tarry Trousers)

TITLE: As I Roved Out (Tarry Trousers) AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS: lover, courting, mother, sailor EARLIEST DATE: 1848 (Journal from the Nauticon) KEYWORDS: marriage, dialog, humorous, mother, sailor Alan Lomax in his Folk Songs of North America (in the English Language) says, “This little Canadian ditty is cousin to a thousand other read more »

Boatman Dance

TITLE: Boatman Dance AUTHOR: Daniel Decatur Emmett EARLIEST DATE: before 1835 (broadside, Bodleian Firth, but reportedly copyrighted 1843) CATEGORY: Author Known, Public Domain KEYWORDS: dancing, river, minstrel, ship, sailor, stevedore This is a song about the stevedores on the Ohio River in the first half of the 1800s. As more people moved west, but before read more »