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Gibb Sahib Origins: What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor (48) RE: Origins: Drunken Sailor-Dickens question for Gibb 08 Mar 16


Hi, M,

No worries. As you know, Hugill's text, 50+ years old, is neither a work of historical scholarship (in the academic sense), nor is it a primary source. For research purposes, I believe it should be the LAST stop. For the purpose of having a book to inspire fun music-making in certain gatherings today, it could be the first stop. (It's a song-book, with assorted commentary from someone that had certain experience and who read a lot of secondary sources with very little real criticism of what he read.) Very different purposes.

My paper, above, would give a sense of the broader or holistic framework in which I think about the chanty genre. And it includes the reference to Marryat's work, which was likely read by Melville in that Marryat was a popular writer of sea stories of Melville's time. (I recall reading somewhere that Abraham Lincoln claimed Marryat was his favorite author, for what it's worth.)

There are possibilities and then there are probabilities. When I say I rode to work today it could have been on an elephant, but it was probably in a car or bus! :-) In other words, the study needs t be grounded in the real world of probabilities, rather than the abstract or purely semantic world of threshold possibility.


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