Mudcat Café Message Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe



User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Gibb Sahib Origins: Blood Red Roses (what's it mean?) (143* d) RE: Origins: Blood Red Roses (what's it mean?) 30 Mar 15


I'll add to this thread a note included in the collection of songs by William Smith (1867-1955) of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, which were taken down by his son in 1940. They appear in:

Edith Fowke, ed. _Sea Songs and Ballads from Nineteenth Century Nova Scotia, The Willian H. Smith and Fenwick Hatt Manuscripts_. NY and Phila.: Folklorica, 1981.

On pg 36, after giving lyrics to "Drunken Sailor," this note on the song (and another) is recorded.

"[Referring to Drunken Sailor:] West Indie Nigger shanty. Does not think there was more to it. [Now referring to Come Down You Roses:] In hoisting, the West Indies darkies, on pulling down on a rope, used this refrain: 'Come down you bunch of roses.'"

We may note that other significant deepwater sailor "sightings" were in Doerflinger (from the Silsbee manuscript) and in Adams—both being of New England. And then the other evidence is from the Caribbean. Smith's Nova Scotia world is close enough, in my book, to that world of New England/Canadian Maritimes trade with the Caribbean to reinforced a picture of the trade/routes where this song traveled—the Caribbean-Grand Banks "cod/rum" jaunt, when Afro-Caribbean men were part of the crew.

(What's perhaps more interesting about Smith's footnote is his apparent belief that "Drunken sailor" could be ascribed to Afro-Caribbean workers specifically! A topic for elsewhere…)




Back to the Main Forum Page

By clicking on the User Name, you will requery the forum for that user. You will see everything that he or she has posted with that Mudcat name.

By clicking on the Thread Name, you will be sent to the Forum on that thread as if you selected it from the main Mudcat Forum page.
   * Click on the linked number with * to view the thread split into pages (click "d" for chronologically descending).

By clicking on the Subject, you will also go to the thread as if you selected it from the original Forum page, but also go directly to that particular message.

By clicking on the Date (Posted), you will dig out every message posted that day.

Try it all, you will see.