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Gibb Sahib Origins: A-Rovin' - Stan Hugill versions (33) RE: Origins: A-Rovin' - Stan Hugill versions 09 May 20


Shogun,

re: Hugill's "Version B"

Compare to "Johnny Come Down to Hilo".

1. They begin with the "chanty couplet"—the lyrically variable section of chanties, yet which retains the same metric length in most songs of the genre. The archetype is: "Was you every in Mobile Bay?; Screwing cotton for a dollar a day?"

Version B -
In Amsterdam there lived a maid
And she was mistress of her trade

JCDTH -
There was a man in Tennessee
He had a banjo on his knee

2. Next comes a refrain that fills the same amount of time as the couplet

Version B -
We'll go no more a-rovin' with / you fair maid

JCDTH -
Johnny come down to hilo / poor old man

3. Then comes the grand chorus

Version B -
A-rovin', a-rovin', / since rovin's bin me overthrow
We'll go no more a-rovin' with / you fair maid

JCDTH -
Wake her, shake her / wake that girl with the blue dress on
Johnny come down to hilo / poor old man


These form match. One song could be laid on top of one another. The melodies and the lyrics can be exchanged.

Moreover, when we "squint our eyes" when we look at it, we see the same patterning. Sing "YOU FAIR MAID" at the end of A-Rovin'. Then sing "POOR OLD MAN" at the end of JCDTH. Also, "A-rovin, A-rovin" and "Wake her, shake her" match up nicely.

So, you can think of JCDTH when you approach this Version B and you'll get it!


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