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Gibb Sahib Origins: A-Rovin' - Stan Hugill versions (33) RE: Origins: A-Rovin' - Stan Hugill versions 11 May 20


All the pumps are bilge pumps.

That one is, I believe, close enough to any "Downton" pump. Downton is the name of the inventor of the pump of that type. Others would have made "improvements," I think, while the name "Downton" was remembered as the original name of that style of pump.

The important distinction is the method of operation, not whether or not the pump is exactly the same as Downton's invention. The method is to turn a wheel.

This can be distinguished from previous methods of operation, including the type of pump that has "hand brakes" on each side of the pump. Hugill is making reference to this when he says "old-fashioned levers" (1961, pf. 45). See this:

So, the idea is that the rhythm/movement is different when one is using "hand brakes" or when when is using a wheel (Downton style).

The continuous round-and-round action of the wheel releases the singer from some of the strictures of chanty form that were necessary for the strictly timed actions of hauling halyards and pumping the brake windlass. It's possible that, for this reason, we see a wider range of song forms (i.e. including those not conforming to the usual chanty forms) ascribed to work at such pumps. That is, one could easily sing songs in the chanty forms at the pumps, but one could also sing other songs, too.

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