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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Lighter Origins: What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor (48) RE: Origins: Drunken Sailor-Dickens question for Gibb 09 Mar 16

Aristotle (I didn't go to school all those years for nothing) advised us never to draw from data more than what's there.

The possibility that Melville was thinking of that particular chantey is real but less than compelling. The line (whatever it was in full) could have drifted into "Haul Away for Rosie" from an earlier song. Who knows?

Though obviously not beyond conjecture, the identity of the chantey Melville was thinking of is simply imponderable. There's not enough data.

BTW, Gibb's informed critique of Hugill's _magnum opus_ is long overdue for us pedants. Hugill was a conscientious amateur collector, not a social scientist. (As he told me at Mystic in the '80s concerning "The Indian Lass," "They were sailors, not blinking anthropologists.")

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