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Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui

DigiTrad:
COMING DOWN WITH OLD VD
GRINDING OUT A PH.D
ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MAUI
ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MAUI (2)
ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MOHEE


Related threads:
Lyr Req: When I Get My Ph.D/parody (18)
Lyr Req: Slowin' Down to Old Maui (33)
Lyr Req: Cruising to Maui (18)
ADD: Rolling Down to Bethlehem (Flawn Williams) (29)


Clinton Hammond 18 Apr 01 - 02:00 AM
Mark Cohen 18 Apr 01 - 02:40 AM
SeanM 18 Apr 01 - 03:45 AM
Grab 18 Apr 01 - 06:33 AM
Clinton Hammond 18 Apr 01 - 07:21 AM
dick greenhaus 18 Apr 01 - 11:44 AM
Melani 18 Apr 01 - 12:58 PM
Clinton Hammond 18 Apr 01 - 01:11 PM
Charley Noble 18 Apr 01 - 02:25 PM
Clinton Hammond 18 Apr 01 - 02:46 PM
SeanM 18 Apr 01 - 04:28 PM
Mark Cohen 18 Apr 01 - 06:30 PM
dick greenhaus 18 Apr 01 - 08:07 PM
Mark Cohen 18 Apr 01 - 11:57 PM
Clinton Hammond 19 Apr 01 - 03:08 AM
Mark Cohen 19 Apr 01 - 03:29 AM
Clinton Hammond 19 Apr 01 - 03:36 AM
Dave the Gnome 19 Apr 01 - 04:41 AM
Charley Noble 19 Apr 01 - 09:08 AM
Just another Dave 19 Apr 01 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,Hal Frank 19 Apr 01 - 10:07 AM
Abby Sale 24 Mar 06 - 08:43 AM
Roberto 24 Mar 06 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 24 Mar 06 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,JimP 24 Mar 06 - 02:20 PM
Barry Finn 24 Mar 06 - 04:41 PM
Barry Finn 24 Mar 06 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Lighter 25 Mar 06 - 08:16 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 25 Mar 06 - 02:25 PM
Charley Noble 31 May 07 - 09:09 AM
JudyB 31 May 07 - 08:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 May 07 - 09:48 PM
Charley Noble 31 May 07 - 10:11 PM
dick greenhaus 31 May 07 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,Rev 31 May 07 - 10:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 May 07 - 11:56 PM
GUEST,Rev 01 Jun 07 - 12:25 AM
Rowan 01 Jun 07 - 02:59 AM
GUEST,Lighter 01 Jun 07 - 08:32 AM
Charley Noble 01 Jun 07 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,Lighter 01 Jun 07 - 11:44 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Jun 07 - 03:41 PM
Charley Noble 02 Jun 07 - 10:07 AM
Charley Noble 03 Jun 07 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,Lighter 03 Jun 07 - 04:53 PM
dick greenhaus 03 Jun 07 - 08:22 PM
Charley Noble 03 Jun 07 - 09:13 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jun 07 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,Rev 04 Jun 07 - 12:23 AM
MartinRyan 04 Jun 07 - 07:11 AM
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Subject: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 02:00 AM

Just a quickie about a version that I've heard... has an extra verse that, for instance, Stan Rogers didn't record... that sorta goes...

"And now we're anchored in the bay with ??? all around"

Anybody out there know what the ??? word is???


Search for "maui" threads


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 02:40 AM

The word I learned is "kanakas" -- kanaka is the Hawaiian word for man, or person, or human being. Another word for man is "kane", which is specifically male, as opposed to "wahine", woman. Given the context of the song, I would have expected the word "wahine" there--but I learned the song long before coming to Hawaii, so I always thought "kanakas" DID mean women!

The whole verse as I learned it is:

And now we're anchored in the bay with kanakas all around
With chants and soft "aloha oe's" they greet us homeward bound
And now ashore we'll have good fun, we'll paint them beaches red
Awakenin' in the arms of an island maid, with a big fat achin' head!

Of course, that may well have been folk processed from an earlier version.

Aloha,
Mark (in Hilo, which is not where John's gone--but that's another story)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: SeanM
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 03:45 AM

Mark, that's the same verse that I learned and sing...

'Kanaka' pops up a lot in pretty much anything to do with Pacific sailing. There's even "John Kanaka", a basic and fairly common shanty.

Dana mentions a ship manned by (if I dismemeber correctly) nothing but 'Kanakas' in Two Years Before the Mast, and in my readings I run into constant references to Kanaka pilots and crew, in addition to the rather well appreciated affections of the wahines...

Finally, something I can actually contribute to...

M


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Grab
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 06:33 AM

Mark, the version I know says "big Kanakas" - blokes rowing out to meet them maybe?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 07:21 AM

That's the version I know Mark... ta eh!

;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 11:44 AM

Stronly suspect thaty Ol' Stan wrote that verse. It doesn't fit (stylistically) with the others.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Melani
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 12:58 PM

I think maybe in this case "kanaka" is being used as a synonym for "Hawaiian."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 01:11 PM

Stan did NOT write that verse or any other for this song... His version didn't even include the last verse as mentioned above...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 02:25 PM

Clinton, if you check verse 6, pp. 121, of Rolling Down to Old Maui, in SONGS OF THE SEA by Hugill, you will find the verse in question "with the Kanakas all around." I don't know if Stan wrote that verse; maybe his sons could shed some light on that question. Great song and if believe Bob Webb has come up with a varient from somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 02:46 PM

I know Stan didn't write that song, or that verse for that matter...

Damn good song, and the same chord progression as Star Of The County Down... you can sing one as harmony to the other with very litte tweakage...

;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: SeanM
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 04:28 PM

ACtually, you can sing almost ANY song to "Old Maui" with minimal tweakage. "Gilligan's Island" fits, with the exception of the roll call at the end. "Anarchy in the UK" too. I hear that "Achy Breaky Heart" works, but haven't got the courage to try it.

M

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of this fatefull trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this sailing ship...


Hee hee hee...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 06:30 PM

Shape note enthusiasts will recognize this song as being in C.M., or Common Meter. (English majors will recognize it as iambic heptameter.) It's one of the, er, common metric forms for poetry in English, and thus for lots of folk and folk-style songs. So you can sing House of the Rising Sun to the tune of Gilligan's Island, and so on and so forth.

And I think it's correct that kanaka was used as a generic name for Hawaiians, especially Hawaiian sailors.

And for those who are interested, the "Hilo" in many shanties does not refer to Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii but to Ilo on the coast of Peru. Discovering that fact was a great disappointment to me, as I used to look out over Hilo Bay and imagine all those sailors singing songs about it. Oh, well...

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 08:07 PM

I yield to no man in my admiration and affection for the late Stan Hugill. BUT- I never found a source (except Stan) for the tune he sang (it's a 4/4 rendition of the Miller of Dee) or of the final verse (yes, Clinton, he sang it and included it in his book). Colcord and Huntington both collected the song sans the final verse and without the tune.

I think that if Stan picked the tune he did a brilliant job; if he wrote the final varse, he did a less-than-brilliant one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 11:57 PM

I'll second all of that, Dick. Stan was a certified treasure, and the tune is wonderful. But that verse?! For one thing, why would kanakas be saying "soft aloha oe's" to the sailors? I suspect that he simply said "kanaka" when he meant to say "wahine", and nobody caught the mistake.

By the way, there seemed to be some confusion earlier on this thread between two legends named Stan, Hugill and Rogers. Dick was referring to the former, who probably did write the last verse, and Clinton to the latter, who didn't. But you all probably figured that out already.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 03:08 AM

Thanks fer clearing that last bit up MC... too many Stans eh!

;-)

Maybe one day I'll post the lyrics I penned "Rolling Down To Old Deli"... after the move...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 03:29 AM

Hey, Clinton, I'd love to hear that one! I wonder if it's anything like my song, Greenberg's?

Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 03:36 AM

Sorry...

typo...

Delhi... as in India...

;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 04:41 AM

I believe that the term Kanaka was (and I believe stil is in Oz) used to refer to South Sea Islanders BUT did the sailors who sang the shanties then realy use it in the same way? Surely it was passed down in the oral tradition originaly as well so who knows how it started or who meant what? And does it realy matter?

Another question - One of the lines goes something like "and in the (something) of a moonbeams kiss, we slept in St Laurence(sp?) bay" What does this mean?

Any ideas?

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 09:08 AM

Now it's all clear! Too many Stans in a kitchen could spoil the duff.

Sometimes when we can't stand singing this great song one more time we sing the even slower parody version "Rolling Down to Lethargy." Ask, Brett, I'm sure he can come up with the lyrics if he's awake.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Just another Dave
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 09:42 AM

One thing that has always puzzled me is the pronounciation of the word -- is it "KAN a kas",or "ka NA kas" -- I have heard it given both ways. I like the way "wahine" sounds in that verse.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Hal Frank
Date: 19 Apr 01 - 10:07 AM

There's a filk (science fiction/fantasy songs) version that strings verses from Robert A. Heinlein's "Green Hills Of Earth" to the tune of Rollin' Down: "The arching sky is calling you, spacer, back to your trade", etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Abby Sale
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 08:43 AM

I'm finally getting around to learning this great song and realize I'm not dead sure of the words. I only have Hugill singing it in which he (no big deal) makes a few tiny but interesting mistakes. Since it's not a chanty, it's not in Shanties so I can't verify direct from the source. (Even though WWW sources often attribute it there.)

1) Would some kind bibliophile let me know if Hugill's version in Songs of the Sea or other printed source is identical to DT - ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MAUI #1?

2) Is there any recent advance on Greenhaus' note of being unable to find any non-Hugillian trad source of a tune?

3) If otherDave still cares, Hugill says "KAN a kas" in this song but "ka NA ka" in "John Kanaka."   I've seen a (just web, not authoritative) definition of it as sort of "gentlefolk" - distant relatives of the royals. That could easily be generalized to "Hawaiians," though as we do in the US ("Ladies and Gentlemen").

I thank youse.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MAUI
From: Roberto
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 09:46 AM

Four recordings of Old Maui. R

a) Rolling Down To Old Maui
A. L. Lloyd, Leviathan! Ballads & Songs of the Whaling Trade – Topic, TSCD497 (Original LP: 12T174, 1967)

It's an ample share of toil and care
We whalemen undergo
Through many a blow of frost and hail
And bitter squalls of snow
The horrid isles of ice cut tiles
They deck the Polar sea
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Maui

Once more we're blown by the northern gales
And bounding o'er the main
And the green hills of them tropical isles
We soon shall see again
Oh, it's many a day we toiled away
In that cold Kamchatka Sea
And we'll think of that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Maui



b) Rolling Down To Old Maui
Louis Killen, Steady As She Goes, Songs And Chanties From The Days Of Commercial Sail, Collector Records

It's a damn tough life full of toil and strife
We whalermen undergo
We don't give a damn when the gale is done
How hard the winds did blow
We're homeward bound, 'tis a grand ol' sound
With a good ship taut and free
We don't give a damn when we drink our rum
With the girls of Old Maui

Rolling down to Old Maui, me boys
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Once more we sail with a Northerly gale
Through the ice, and wind, and rain
And them coconut fronds and them tropical lands
We soon shall see again
Six hellish months have passed away
In the cold Kamchatka sea
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Rolling down to Old Maui, me boys
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Once more we sail with the Northerly gale
Towards our Island home
Our mainmast sprung and our whaling done
And we ain't got far to roam
Our stans'l booms is carried away
What care we for that sound
A living gale is after us
Thank God we're homeward bound

Rolling down to Old Maui, me boys
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

How soft the breeze from the island trees
Now the ice is far astern
And them native maids and them island glades
Is awaiting our return
Even now their big, black eyes look out
Hoping some fine day to see
Our baggy sails running 'fore the gales
Rolling down to Old Maui

Rolling down to Old Maui, me boys
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui



c) Rolling Down to Old Maui
Roy Harris, Utter Semplicity, Fellside FEO44, 1985

'Tis a damn hard life full of toil and strife
We whalermen undergo
And we don't give a damn when the gale is done
How hard the winds do blow
O we're homeward bound, 'tis the welcome sound
With a good ship taut and free
And we don't give a damn when we drink our rum
With the girls of Old Maui

Rolling down to Old Maui
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Once more we sail with a Northerly gale
Through the ice, and sleet, and rain
And them coconut fronds and them tropical lands
We soon shall see again
For six hellish months are passed away
In the cold Kamchatka sea
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Rolling down to Old Maui
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Ah but now we sail with a favourable gale
Towards our Island home
Our mainmast sprung, our whaling done
And we ain't got far to roam
Our stans'l booms are carried away
What care we for that sound
While a living gale after us
Thank God we're homeward bound

Rolling down to Old Maui
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

How soft the breeze in the Tropic seas
Now the ice is far astern
And them native maids in them island glades
They're awaiting our return
While their big, dark eyes even now look out
Hoping some fine day for to see
Our baggy sails running 'fore the gales
Rolling down to Old Maui

Rolling down to Old Maui
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui

Rolling down to Old Maui
Rolling down to Old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic Ground
Rolling down to Old Maui



d) Rolling Down To Old Maui
Jolly Jack, Jolly Jack & Friends, Rolling Down to Old Maui, Shanties & Songs of the Sea, Fellside recordings FECD 140 1999 (Original LP: Rolling Home, 1986, Fellside FE035)

Once more we are blown by the northern gales
Bounding o'er the main
And the green hills of them tropical isles
We soon shall see again
Five sluggish moons have waxed and waned
Since from the shore sailed we
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Maui
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Maui

Through many's the blow of frost and snow
Bitter squalls of hail
Our spars were bent, our sails were rent
As we braved the northern gale
The horrid isles of ice cut tiles
That deck the Polar sea
Are many many leagues astern
As we sail to old Maui
Are many many leagues astern
As we sail to old Maui

Through many's the blow of frost and snow
Our good ship bore away
But in the midst of the moonbeam's kiss
We slept in St. Lawrence Bay
For it's many's the day we whiled away
In that bold Kamchatka Sea
And we'll think on that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Maui
I will think on that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Maui

It's an ample share of toil and care
We whalemen undergo
But when it's over what care we
How the bitter blast may blow
For it's homeward bound that joyful sound
And yet that may not be
But we'll think on that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Maui
I will think on that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Maui


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 10:37 AM

Stan H. published his now familiar version of "Maui" in an issue of _Spin_ back around 1970. At Mystic in 1988 he said that he'd learned the song from a shipmate named Paddy Griffith, who was "an old man" when Stan knew him in the 1920s.

Stan observed that Griffith's version was the only one with a tune, but that is incorrect. Frederick P. Harlow gives a text with an indifferent tune that in some places resembles "Tenting Tonight."

The Griffith/ Hugill tune was known in the 18th century as "The Miller of Dee." Lloyd's version on _Leviathan_ goes to what sounds like a hymn tune. The notes give no information as to its origin, but to judge from other songs in the album, as well as from Lloyd's usual practice, he probably picked it himself. On the other hand, it bears some resemblance to "The Miller of Dee."

"Rolling Down to Old Maui" has not often been reported by collectors. Gale Huntington offers a text from a 19th century logbook along with yet another tune.

I agree with Dick and others that Stan's final stanza - not found elsewhere - sounds like a later addition, but there seems to be no real evidence to show that he himself wrote it. Of course, he could have. And he could have composed or adapted any number of the shanty verses he published. We may never know - and it probably doesn't matter very much in the scheme of things.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,JimP
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 02:20 PM

I checked out my copy of Colcord, who gives the refrain as the familiar version, but the verses are different, and, to my mind anyway, look to be "improved" by the editor.

Anyway, she notes that the tune is unknown, and omits the last verse as noted above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 04:41 PM

John Roberts on his "Ye Mariners All" CD does a real nice version of this. Its a different version & tune (in the notes it says that the tune is adapted from Harlow, from his "Chantying Aboard American Ships"). It's not the same chorus rather it has Harlow's repeating last line refrain. Gale Huntington also has a different version as does Joanna Colcord from Hugills' version. Harlow, Huntington & Colcord, all great collectors (in Huntington's case also a great researcher, while Colcord & Harlow spent long spells living aboard working vessels as did Hugill) were not known for omissions or improving texts weither it be by their editors or themselves.
Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Barry Finn
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 04:53 PM

Hi Mark,
It seems to me that 'Wahine' is an excepable common term for women 'these days' where 'Kanaka' was an exceptable term in 'those days' but not during 'these days' & was a sailor or whaler term in common useage, where 'Wahine' does not seem to be found common in the whaler's or sailor's vocabulary.
Barry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 25 Mar 06 - 08:16 AM

No, Colcord was opposed to any "improvement" of song texts. Her publisher made her omit suggestive verses in the shanties, which she did reluctantly.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 25 Mar 06 - 02:25 PM

Kanaka is the Hawai'ian term for man (human being) and is found with various spellings and pronunciations in other Polynesian dialects.

Throughout much of the 19th c., young Hawaiians worked on ships and on shore, many contracted out by the government of Hawai'i.
Kanaka Creek in British Columbia commemorates a settlement in that province. Hawaiian labor built Fort Langley in British Columbia, and Hawaiians worked on farms, in packing plants (Hawaiian soul food, the salmon used in lomi-lomi) and in saw mills for the Hudsons Bay Company, which had a branch in Honolulu.
Kanakas became important as voyageurs in Canada, working for the Hudsons Bay Company. They processed and loaded hides in Mexican California. And, of course, they worked on sailing vessels and whalers.
As such, Kanakas were well-known to sailors and the name appears in their chanteys.

Through ignorance, Kanaka, to North Americans and Europeans, has received a negative connotation.

The various terms for Hawaiian women might be known to those sailors who found a soft nest in the Hawaiian Islands, but contact was usually short-term.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 May 07 - 09:09 AM

I don't think anyone above has mentioned Stuart Frank's research on the origin of this old whaling song as published in the magazine Maritime Life and Traditions, #26, © 2005, pp. 28-31. Frank traces two early version of the song "Rolling Down to Old Mohee" transcribed by George M. Jones and Albert F. Handy of the bark Waverly of New Bedford, 1859-63 and "Rolling Down to Old Mohee transcribed by George Wilbur Piper, ship Europa of Edgartown, Massachusetts, 1868-70. Frank judges from the historical details that the song dates from the 1840's, "...just before American whaleships first passed through the Bering Strait to pioneer the Artic Whaling grounds (1848)."

Version A - from Jones and Handy:

Once more with a fav'ring northern breeze
We are bounding o'er the main
And soon the hills of the tropic isles
Will be in view again;
Five sluggish months have passed and gone
Since first from your shores sailed we
But now we are bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to Old Mohee.

In vapors 'neath the chilly sky
Aurora colored the wave
And slumbers beneath the moonbeam's smile
In the dark St. Lawrence Bay;
For many a weary day we toiled
In the wild Kamtschatka Sea
But as we've toiled we've laughed and sung
Of the girls of Old Mohee.

Welcome the seas where the fragrant breeze
Is filled with odors rare
Where the sunny glades and the gentle maids
Are gentle kind and fair;
'Tis their bright eyes look forth each day
In hopes some day to see
Our snow-white sails before the gale
Rolling down to Old Mohee.

We heave the lead where old Diamond Head
Looms up in Old Oahu
Our decks and rigging are clear of ice
Our sails are free from snow;
The hoary heads of the sea girt isles
That deck the Artic Sea
Are many and many a league astern
Since we steered to Old Mohee.

An ample share of toil and care
We whalemen undergo
But our labor's o'er, what care we more
How oft the wind may blow?
'Tis homeward bound, that thrilling sound,
Although it ne'er may be
When we think of that we'll laugh and chat
With the girls of Old Mohee.

Once more we're bound with a fav'ring breeze
On towards our distant home;
Our mainmast sprung, we're almost wrecked,
Still she proudly rides the foam;
Our studding-sail booms are carried away,
What care we for the sound?
A living gale is after us:
Hurrah! We're homeward bound!


Version B - from Piper (includes a chorus similar to the one now sung):

Once more we are waved by the Northern gale,
We are bounding o'er the main;
The verdant hues of the tropic gale
We soon shall see again;
Five sluggish months have waxes and waned
Since from the shore sailed we
But now we are bound from the Arctic sea (ground?)
Rolling down to Old Mohee.

Chorus:

Rolling down to Old Mohee, my boys,
Rolling down to Old Mohee,
But now we are bound from the Artic ground,
Rolling down to Old Mohee.


Through many a blow of frost and snow
And bitter squalls of hail;
When spars are bent and canvas rent,
We braved the Northern gale
The hoary piles of the sea girt isles
That decked the Artic Sea
Are many and many a league astern
As we sail from (sic) the Old Mohee. (CHO)

We heave our lead where the Diamond Head
Looms up through the waste and snow,
Our masts and rigging were covered with ice
Our decks were white below;
The hurricanes on our weather beam,
The breakers on our lee;
It seemed like the blast as it whistled past,
Brought tidings of Old Mohee. (CHO)

And now we have reached our destined port,
No more we'll plough the sea;
Our cruise is done, our anchor's down,
Our head swings in the breeze;
Our yards are square, our decks are clear,
Now to the shore haste we
And we'll laugh and sing till the nut groves ring
On the Isle of Old Mohee. (CHO)

Our ample share of toil and care
We whalemen undergo;
But when it's o'er we care no more,
How keen the blast does blow,
We're homeward bound, that joyful sound,
But yet that may not be;
But we'll think of that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of Old Mohee. (CHO)

Now it's heartfelt joy without alloy,
That fills each manly breast;
And dearer yet, far dearer yet,
Bound home on the far wide sea west;
We'll tread once more on our native shore,
The land of the brave and free
And we'll think when at home how we used to roam
On the Isle of Old Mohee. (CHO)

Frank also discusses the tunes associated with this song as sung by A. L. Lloyd and Stan Hugill; Frank's wife Mary Malloy considers them both variants of the same tune "The Budgeon it is a delicate Trade" (aka "The Jolly Miller") from John Hullah, THE SONG BOOK, 1866, p. 55.

One can always learn more about an old song! And I wouldn't hesitate to say that the song has improved with age.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: JudyB
Date: 31 May 07 - 08:19 PM

Interesting! Charley and I should talk one of these days - I had wondered where the song came from.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 May 07 - 09:48 PM

Gale Huntington, "Songs the Whalemen Sang," credits "Rolling Down to Old Mohee" (pp. 27-28, with score) to the log of the "Atkins Adams," 1858.

I suspect that there is an earlier composed version, but this is based mostly on the dates, and the verses, as given above, by Charley. And the 'feeling' that there is more to be found.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MOHEE
From: Charley Noble
Date: 31 May 07 - 10:11 PM

We might as well paste in what Huntington printed (from the DT) since we have several other versions posted in this thread:

ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MOHEE

Once more we are waft by the Northern gales
Bounding over the main,
And now the hills of the tropic isles
We soon shall see again.
Five sluggish moons have waxed and waned
Since from the shore sailed we,
Now we are bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Mohee.
Now we are bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Mohee.

Through many a blow of frost and snow
And bitter squalls of hail,
Our spars were bent and our canvas rent
As we braved the northern gale.
The horrid isles of ice cut tiles
That deck the Arctic sea,
Are many, many leagues astern
As we sail to old Mohee.

Through many a gale of snow and hail
Our good ship bore away
And in the midst of the moonbeam's kiss
We slept in St. Lawrence Bay.
And many a day we whiled away
In the bold Kamchatka Sea
And we'll think of that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Mohee.

An ample share of toil and care
We whalemen undergo;
But when it's over, what care we
How the bitter blast may blow.
We are homeward bound, that joyful sound,
And yet it may not be,
But we'll think of that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Mohee.

From Gale Huntington's book- Songs the Whalemen Sang. Collected
from logbook of Ship Atkins Adams 1858. Huntington says that the
tune comes from Harlow- Chanteying Aboard American Ships; also
thinks he heard it sung to tune of "The Bowery", but isn't sure.
As he points out,"This is a nice song."

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 31 May 07 - 10:20 PM

"The hoary heads of the sea girt isles
That deck the Arctic Sea"...

The only versions I've encountered where this section doesn't appear to be mangled. Innaresting.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Rev
Date: 31 May 07 - 10:56 PM

I learned the verse in question from Geoff Kaufmann, who probably got his version from Stan. It's pretty much the same as Mark cites in the second post of this thread, except that one sings "wahine" instead of "island girl" or "island maid" in the last line. Based on my own research of whalers journals, they certainly were familiar with the word "wahine," quite intimately in fact, but the term "island maid" turns up pretty frequently too, so I think it's a matter of taste. I have never seen the verse in question in any whalers' journals, and am inclined to think that if Hugill didn't write it himself, it was unique to the singer from whom he got the song. As for the tune, it is also unclear if Stan wrote it, but he (almost) definitely originated that tune in folk circles.
Geoff always mispronounced the word "kanaka," singing "KAN-aka." I got a lot of weird looks when I sang it that way the first time I was in Hawai'i. It should be pronounced "ka-NA-ka," which means "person" or "human being" and which was the common Euro-American name for Pacific Islanders, Hawaiians in particular. The posters above are absolutely correct that kanaka seamen were common aboard whalers as well as other trading vessels, etc. The kanakas that Dana writes about were working in the California hide trade, and he basically says they were the finest human beings he had ever "fell in with." The word kanaka, was apparently used as a slur in the early 20th century, but in recent years has been rehabilitated. It's most common usage today is the Hawaiian term "Kanaka maoli" which means a "full-blooded" Native Hawaiian.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 May 07 - 11:56 PM

Maoli as an adjective means indigenous, genuine or native; as an adverb it means really, truly, without doubt (Guest Rev is essentially right).

Kanaka means man, human being.
Ka¯naka (the macron should be above the first a) means people in general, the mass of people.
Kanaka as an adjective means manly, strong, or stable.

The spelling and pronunciation is different in other Polynesian languages, but several use the same root as the Hawai'ians.

The word kanaka has never been a slur in the Hawaiian language; only in the mind of some haole (foreigner).
From "The Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian-English Dictionary," Henry P. Judd. This dictionary is small and very incomplete, but it is good for beginners.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Rev
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 12:25 AM

Yes, I didn't mean to imply that Hawaiians used the term as a slur. My point was that was used as a slur by haoles in the early 20th century, but when it was used by haole sailors in the 18th and 19th centuries they did not intend it as a slur. I'd recommend Pukui and Elbert's Hawaiian Dictionary (1986) as being more complete and updated than Judd (written in the '30's), but Judd has grammar lessons that Pukui and Elbert don't have.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Rowan
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 02:59 AM

Further to the use (and pronunciation) of kanaka, in Oz.

Because it was thought (by whites) that real people (meaning whites) could not survive hard yakka in the tropics, particularly the cutting of sugar cane, crews were employed to go blackbirding. Blackbirding was the raiding of (mostly Polynesian) communities for able-bodied people who were "indentured" against their will and brought back to Queensland to slave away on the canefields. The practice continued until the very first Commonwealth Act of the Australian Parliament in 1901, which enacted the White Australia Policy; itself only repealed in about 1965.

Kanakas (pronounced Ka nak a, with the emphasis on the second syllable, in Queensland) formed close-knit communities and there are many descendants in Oz still.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 08:32 AM

Guest Rev, Stan's tune, as noted last year, is the 18th Century hit, "The Miller of Dee." A modification of it is used in the shanty, "Lowlands, Lowlands, Low."

When Stan told me about Paddy Griffith's singing, he said specifically that until he published PG's tune in _Spin_, "they'd never found a tune for it. Now this is the tune everyone uses."

He was wrong about "never," since Harlow printed one; but Colcord - one of the very few collectors to give the song - commented regretfully that she hadn't found "the" [sic] tune to which it was sung.

Regarding Huntington's mention of "The Bowery," that tune would require   a very great deal of adaptation to be made to fit "Maui."

The variety of tunes applied to the lyrics suggests that many singers independently set the words to music. That suggests to me that the words circulated more widely as a recitation than as a song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 09:42 AM

Harlow notes that the version of this song printed in CHANTEYING ABOARD AMERICAN SHIPS, p. 243, was given to him by Captain R. W. Nye of the bark Guy C. Goss, who had seen service in the early days of whaling. I don't seem to find theis version of the song above so I'll post it here, pp. 228-230:

ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MAUI (pronounced "Mo-hee")

'Tis now we're bound from the Arctic grounds
A-bounding o'er the main;
And soon the hills of the tropic isles our eyes shall greet again;
Seven long moons have waxed and waned since last from port sailed we,
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground,
Rolling down to old Maui.

Chorus:

Rolling down to old Maui,
Rolling down to old Maui,
With our baggy sails spread before the Arctic gales,
Rolling down to old Maui.


These northern gales they do blow strong,
O'er East Cape well away,
That swept through the mist by the moonbeams kissed
O'er the broad St. Lawrence Bay;
The hoary piles of shoals and isles
That deck the Arctic Sea,
'Tis many and many we've left astern,
Rolling down to old Maui. (CHO)

We'll heave our lead where old Diamond Head
Looms up on old Oahu,
With our sails and rigging all covered with ice
And white our decks below;
With a freshening gale on our port beam,
And breakers on our lee,
As the bristling wind comes whistling past
Sent tidings to old Maui. (CHO)

'Tis a fearful life of strife and care,
We whalemen undergo,
But what care we when the storm is o'er
How hard the blast did blow?
We're homeward bound, 'tis a joyful sound,
With a full ship, tight and free;
We'll not care for that, as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Maui. (CHO)

I'm quite impressed with the variety of pre-1900 verses we've come up with in this thread. Clearly there were many hands involved in shaping this song from a yet to be discovered original song or poem.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 11:44 AM

Good job, Charley.

A similar mystery us the less known "Diego's Bold Shore," recently recorded by Eliza Carthy. A great rendition of something that doesn't
look like much on Colcord's printed page.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Jun 07 - 03:41 PM

Might's well put one that has a French version here.

Lyr. Add: ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MAUI

'Tis a rough tough life of toil and strife
   We whalemen undergo
An' we don't give a damn when the gale is done
   How hard the winds do blow
So we're homeward bound 'tis a damn fine sound
   With a good ship taut an' free
We don't give a damn when we drink our rum
   With the girls of old Maui.

Cho.
Rolling down to old Maui me boys
Rolling down to old Maui
We're homeward bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Maui

Once more we sailed with a Northerly gale
   Through ice and sleet and rain
And the coconut fronds in the tropic lands
   Ah we soon shall see again
Six hellish months have passed away
   In the cold Kanchatka sea
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
   Rolling down to old Maui

We'll heave the lead where old Diamond Head
   Lose up an old wahoo (* Looms up on old Oahu)
Our masts and yards are sheathed with ice
   And our decks are hidden from view
Ah the horrid ice of the Sekut Isles
   The deck the Arctic Sea
And miles behind in the frozen win'
   When we steer for old Maui.

How warm the breeze on the tropic seas
   Nor the ice is far astern
And them Oahu maids in the island glades
   Are awaiting our return
And the big black eyes even now look out
   Hoping sometimes they do see
Our baggy sails running 'fore the gales
   Rolling down to old Maui.

Once more we sail with a favourable gale
Aye towards our island home
Our main yards sprung our whaling done
   And we ain't got far to roam
Our stud'l booms are carried away
   What care we for that sound
A living gale is after us
   Thank God we're homeward bound.

And now we're anchored in the bay
   With the Kanakas all around
With chats an' stuff "aloha" way
   They greet us homeward bound
And now ashore we'll have good fun
   We'll paint them beaches red
Waiting in the arms of a Oahii maid
   With a big fat aching head.

FRENCH Version

C'est une vie bien dure de travail et d'ennuis
   Que nous subissons nous les baleineirs
Et on s'en fout quand la tempête s'arrête
   De la force des vents
Nous rentrons chez nous le bruit est beau
   Sur un brave navire en bon état et libre
On s'en fout quand on boit du rhum
   Avec les filles de la vielle Maui.

En tanguant vers la vielle Maui les gars
En tanguant vers la vielle Maui
Nous rentrons chez nous depuis les mers arctiques
En tanguant vers la vielle Maui.

Ene fois encore nous avons mis les voiles devant un coup de vents du Nord
   A travers la glace la neige fondue et la pluie
Et les frondes de noix de coco dans les terres des tropiques
   Bientôt nous les reverrons
Six mois d'enfer se sont écoulés
   Dans la mer froide de Kamchatka
Mais maintenant nous avons quitté les mers arctiques
Tanguant vers la vielle Maui.

Nous lancerons le plomb è sonde où le vieux Cap Diamant
   Nous donners un vieux wahoo
Nos mâs et nos vergues sont recouverts de glace
   Et nos ponts sont invisibles
L'horrible glace des îles Sekut
   Le pont la mer arctique
Sont à plusieurs milles derrière nous dans le vent glacial
   Quand nous mettons le cap sur la vielle Maui.

Comme sont chauds les alizés des mers tropicales
   Maintenant que la glace est loin derrière
Et ces filles d'Oahii dans les clarières des îles
   Attendent notre retour
Et leurs grands yeux noirs nous guettent même maintenant
   Espérant bientôt voir
Nos voiles ventrues par coup de vent arri&$232;re
   Tanguant vers la vielle Maui.

Nous naviguons encore avec un coup de vent arrière favorable
   Oui vers chez nous dans les &$238;les
Nos grandes vergues fendues notre chasse à la baleine terminée
   Nous n'avons plus beaucoup de chemin &$224; faire
Nos bômes ont été emportées
   Nous n'avons aucun souci du bruit
Un coup de vent bien vif nous poursuit
   Dieu merci nous rentrons chez nous.

Maintenant nous sommes mouillés dans la baie
   Les Kanakas autour de nous
Avec de la conversation et tout de la manière "aloha"
   Ils nous ont accueillis à notre retour
Et maintenant à terre nous allons nous faire plaisir
   Nous irons à la plage y semer la pagaille
Bercés dans les bras d'une fille d'Oahii
   Avec une grosse tête qui nous fera mal.

Pp. 54-55, with score, 1995, "Cahiers de chants de marins," No. 2, Le Chasse-Marée/ArMen.
May be heard on Anthologie, vol. 3, Chants des Marins Anglais, Stan Hugill, from the sailor, Paddy Griffith.
* Looms up in old Oahu- See post by Charlie Noble.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 02 Jun 07 - 10:07 AM

Well, gang, we now have so many early versions of this fine song that it presents a challenging puzzle to figure out which version came first, what verses are relics of the original, which verses are primarily later additions.

I'd actually love to have a linguist, folklorist or ethnomusicologist make some suggestions on how to tackle this puzzle. One can't totally trust the log entries, if the writers were transcribing what they heard someone sing, and the date of the log doesn't necessarily tell us when the lines were composed, just when they were written down.

The French version certainly reads well, and is a nice addition.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 04:26 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 04:53 PM

Charley, I'm afraid there is no way to tackle the puzzle. All we have are a few texts and some tunes.

Based on the above posts, the apparently independent primary texts in chronological order are:

1858 "Atkins Adams" (Huntington)

1859-63 bark "Waverly" (Frank)

1868-70 ship "Europa" (Frank)

before 1938 Colcord

before 1947 "Guy C. Goss" (Nye/ Harlow)

1967 Lloyd, "Leviathan" LP

1970 Hugill _Spin_ (rpt. in _The Bosun's Locker_ (2006)

Gotta go: more a little later


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 08:22 PM

Can't prove it, but I'm willing to place a small bet that the original appeared in a newspaper or magazine in the mid 1800s. A lot of poetry was published and distributed that way.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 09:13 PM

Dick-

It's either that or it was song in a music hall in Maui or New Bedford. Stuart Frank, as I've posted above, "judges from the historical details that the song dates from the 1840's, "...just before American whaleships first passed through the Bering Strait to pioneer the Arctic Whaling grounds (1848)."

I am quite serious about suggesting that a formal linguistic analysis of the versions would sort this song out. I'd just like to have someone more qualified than myself assume responsibility for doing it. But I'm quite willing to farm it out to a reliable friend in Australia if there is no one at Mudcat with such an inclination. As I've mentioned above the chronology of the logs may only be a rough approximation of when each version of the song was composed, a whole lot better than nothing but not the final say. And the variety of verses extent in the 1850's and 1860's suggests to me that the song was quite well known in the whaling community.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jun 07 - 10:09 PM

Charley, why did Stuart Frank judge "just before American whaleships first passed through the Bering Strait?" How would he date this?
Bering passed through the Strait in 1728. I would be surprised if no whalers passed from the Kamchatka to the Chukchi Sea quite early. Having sufficient whales in the Kamchaka Sea would be the only reason not to proceed further.

The song does mention the Arctic ground as if it were only the Kamchatka Sea, but the limits of a song also might be the reason. Pretty tenuous reasoning.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Rev
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 12:23 AM

The history of whaling is pretty well documented Q, and Stuart is one of the best authorities on the topic. The first British and American whalers entered the Pacific in 1787, primarily working the Brazil Banks, and other grounds close to the West Coast of South America. Whalers didn't begin calling at the Hawaiian Islands until 1819. So the song can't have existed before then. According to Starbuck's History of the American Whale Fishery (1877 [1989]), whalers began working the northwest coast of N. America 1835, got up around Kamchatka to begin the bowhead fishery in 1843, and in 1848, Captain Royce of the bark Superior, out of Sag Harbor, N.Y., was the first to work a season North of the Bering Straits. Royce wrote that since they were the first to whales on those grounds, the whales were comparatively tame and easy to strike. So I think 1848 as the very earliest possible date for the song is right. I think the conventional wisdom on "Old Maui" has always been that it dates to the 1850s, but no one has done a definitive study. I myself might take that up when I turn my dissertation into a book, but that's still a couple of years off.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: MartinRyan
Date: 04 Jun 07 - 07:11 AM

Just back from the Cobh Maritime Song festival, where this one threatened to become the song of the weekend, with regular outings at sessions. One of the better ones involved alternate verses in English and Polish!

Regards


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