Tag Archives: ship

John Gilbert is the Boat

TITLE: John Gilbert is the Boat AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain KEYWORDS: ship, travel, commerce EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: 1939 HISTORICAL REFERENCES: “The John Gilbert ran from Cincinnati to Florence, Alabama. She was built in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1881, and was named for Captain John Gilbert, of Evansville, Indiana, president of the Ohio and Tennessee River Packet Company.” 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 »

Greenland Wale Fisheries

TITLE: Greenland Whale Fisheries AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain KEYWORDS: ship, whale, whaler, death EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: From the Traditional Ballad Index—1820 (The Mavis, according to Greig); before 1825 (broadside, Bodleian 2806 c.17(160)) Greenland Whale Fishery “is the oldest—and many think the best—of surviving songs of the whaling trade. It had already appeared on read more »

Blood Red Roses

TITLE: Blood Red Roses AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain KEYWORDS: shanty, ship, flowers EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: The Traditional Ballad Index states 1893 but gives no reference. Blood Red Roses was a bowsprit/halyard shanty and would have been used to raise the sails. ‘Go down, you blood red roses, go down’ are the chorus lyrics which 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 »

Hudson River Steamboat

TITLE: Hudson River Steamboat AUTHOR: perhaps adapted by John Allison? CATEGORY: public domain KEYWORDS: river, ship, technology EARLIEST DATE: 1955 HISTORICAL REFERENCES: The first steamboats made in America sailed on the Hudson River—and they still do. Robert Fulton was the man credited with perfecting the first steamboat, although it was far from perfect on that first memorable trip read more »

Sailing in the Boat

TITLE: Sailing in the Boat AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: public domain, traditional KEYWORDS: courting, ship, playparty, floatingverses EARLIEST DATE: 1865 In spite of Puritan disapproval, the rural sports of old England gradually came to life again in the colonies, together with new customs that suited the country. The people amused themselves at quilting bees, apple-parings, shooting matches, sugaring-off read more »

Michael Row the Boat Ashore

TITLE: Michael Row the Boat Ashore AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS: religious, nonballad, travel, river, ship, work, worksong, floatingverses, shanty EARLIEST DATE: 1867 (Allen, Ware, Garrison) HISTORICAL REFERENCES: Seeger dates this Georgia sea islands worksong from the mid-19th century. Michael, Row the Boat Ashore (is an African-American spiritual and was first published in Slave read more »

Yankee Doodle Dandy-O (The Constitution and Guerriere)

TITLE: Yankee Doodle Dandy-O (The Constitution and Guerriere) AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: Traditional, Public Domain KEYWORDS: sea, war, battle, ship EARLIEST PRINTED OR RECORDED REFERENCE: Broadside Printed and Sold by John Lane, 1813, a copy in the US Library of Congress, Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 113, Folder 15a. HISTORICAL REFERENCES: Aug 19, 1812 – the 44-gun Constitution defeats and captures the 38-gun read more »

Big Ship Sailing

TITLE: Big Ship Sailing AUTHOR: unknown CATEGORY: traditional, public domain KEYWORDS: nonballad ship EARLIEST DATE: 1914 (Dann) Also known as “The Big Ship Sails On The Ally-Ally-Oh” – and doubtless other variants – this well-known children’s song appears to have started life as a nursery rhyme, although as with many folk songs its precise origin 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 »