Mudcat Café message #3714394 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #157373   Message #3714394
Posted By: Lighter
04-Jun-15 - 07:35 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Chanteys in the R.W. Gordon papers
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Chanteys in the R.W. Gordon papers
AWAY RIO
(Capstan)

As I went a-strolling one morning in May
Chorus: Away, Rio,
Oh, as I went a-strolling one morning in May,
Chorus: We're bound for the Rio Grande.
Chorus: Then away, Rio,
       Oh, away, Rio,
       Sing fare ye well, my bonnie young maid,
       We're bound for the Rio Grande.

[Similarly:]

I met a fair damsel and to her did say....

Where are you going to, my pretty maid?...

I'm going a-milking, kind sir, she said....

Can I go with you, my pretty maid?...

You can if you'd like to, kind sir, she said....

What is your fortune, my pretty maid....

My face is my fortune, kind sir, she said....

Then I cannot marry you, my pretty maid....

Well, nobody asked you to, kind sir, she said....


This "milk-maid" version - which appeared on English broadsides - may be the most frequently collected form of this well-known chantey. The possibilities for salty improvisation and variation need not be mentioned. Hugill apparently heard such variations more than once..

The complete innocuousness of the original made it a safe choice for singing when passengers were around.