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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)


Dave the Gnome 20 Aug 19 - 04:04 AM
ChanteyLass 19 Aug 19 - 11:28 PM
Lighter 17 Aug 19 - 06:40 PM
Gibb Sahib 25 Apr 18 - 10:14 PM
Lighter 25 Apr 18 - 07:39 PM
GUEST,ST 13 Jul 17 - 06:29 PM
Jack Campin 13 Jul 17 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 13 Jul 17 - 08:15 AM
GUEST,ST 13 Jul 17 - 08:00 AM
Lighter 25 Aug 14 - 10:14 AM
Gibb Sahib 24 Aug 14 - 09:00 PM
Lighter 24 Aug 14 - 08:25 PM
Gibb Sahib 24 Aug 14 - 07:42 PM
Gibb Sahib 24 Aug 14 - 07:24 PM
Lighter 24 Aug 14 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,Lighter 23 Dec 12 - 07:18 PM
MARINER 23 Dec 12 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Dec 12 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,Mariner 22 Dec 12 - 04:16 PM
Gibb Sahib 11 Aug 12 - 11:43 PM
Charley Noble 11 Aug 12 - 11:10 PM
Gibb Sahib 11 Aug 12 - 12:54 PM
Charley Noble 10 Aug 12 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Lighter 10 Aug 12 - 03:31 PM
Charley Noble 10 Aug 12 - 01:09 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Aug 12 - 12:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Aug 12 - 07:37 PM
Gibb Sahib 09 Aug 12 - 02:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Aug 12 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Lighter 09 Aug 12 - 08:24 AM
Nigel Parsons 09 Aug 12 - 04:21 AM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 12 - 09:23 PM
dick greenhaus 08 Aug 12 - 08:13 PM
GUEST,Lighter 08 Aug 12 - 08:13 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 12 - 07:18 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 12 - 06:36 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 12 - 06:19 PM
GUEST,Lighter 08 Aug 12 - 05:00 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 12 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Lighter 08 Aug 12 - 02:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Aug 12 - 02:09 PM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 12 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Lighter 08 Aug 12 - 12:42 PM
GUEST 08 Aug 12 - 12:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Aug 12 - 12:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Aug 12 - 11:44 AM
Gibb Sahib 08 Aug 12 - 04:33 AM
Gibb Sahib 07 Aug 12 - 10:15 PM
GUEST,Overboard 27 Mar 11 - 05:37 PM
Lighter 17 Nov 10 - 08:48 AM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 20 Aug 19 - 04:04 AM

That version seems to be the same as the one in the Jolly Jack album entitled the same as this thread. The last line of each verse being repeated as chorus. Well worth trying to find as there were fewer trios sang better harmonies than Jolly Jack. All sadly now passed away :-(


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 19 Aug 19 - 11:28 PM

Wow, Lighter, thank you for that!
On Sunday I heard this song (usual lyrics) sung in a minor key. Different but still good!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Aug 19 - 06:40 PM

Whaleman's Shipping List and Merchants' Transcript (New Bedford) (Jan. 9, 1872), p. 1:

"The following song was written on board a whale ship, some time ago, when nearly all of the Northern Whaling Fleet made the Port of Lahaina, Island of Maui, their rendevous [sic] in the Spring and Fall.             I have myself seen sixty-five ships lying at anchor at a time, their crews ashore on liberty, and enjoying themselves, as only seamen can, after a long and cold season in the Northern Seas. 'Mohee' is the original name of the Island given by Capt. Cook, and the early navigators:

                                     OLD MOHEE.

Once more we are waived by the Northern gales,
   We are bounding o'er the Main,
The pleasant shores of the Tropic Isles
   We soon shall see again.
Six sluggish moons have waxed and waned,
   Since from those isles sailed we;
But now we're bound from the Arctic Ground,
   Rolling down to old Mohee.

The Northern winds they do blow strong,
   Old Cape East rolls away,
Or sleeps in the mists which the moonbeams kissed,
   On the wide St. Lawrence Bay.
We have toiled away for many a day
   On the broad Kamskatka Sea,
But we'll think of that as we laugh and chat
   With the girls of Old Mohee.

Through many a blow of frost and snow,
   And bitter squalls of hail,
Where spars are bent and canvas rent,
   We have braved the Northern gale.
The hoary piles of the sea-girt isles
   That deck the Arctic Sea,
Are many, oh, many a league astern
   As we sailed to old Mohee.

We'll heave our lead where Alaska's head
   Looms up from its waste of snow,
Our masts and sails are covered with ice,
   Our decks are white below;
The Western gale on our weather beam,
   The trade winds on our lee,
It seemed that the blast as it whistled past,
   Brought tidings of Old Mohee.

And now we have reached our destined port,
   No more will we plow those seas;
Our cruise is done, our anchor down,
   Our ship 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 wet groves ring
   On the Isle of Old Mohee.

An ample share of toil and care,
   We whalemen undergo,
But when 'tis o'er what care we more,
   How keen the blasts may blow;
We are homeward bound that joyful sound
   Our hope is soon to be,
We'll think of that as we laugh and chat
   With the girls of Old Mohee.

Now it's heartfelt joy without alloy,
   That fills each hopeful breast;
For dearer yet, yes, dearer yet,
    Is our home in the far wide West.
We will tread once more our native shore,
   The land of the brave and free,
And think when home how we used to roam
   In the groves of Old Mohee.


"East Cape" (now Cape Dezhnev) is the easternmost point of mainland Asia, northwest of the Diomede Islands.

"Alaska's head" may conceivably refer to Head Rock of the island of Adak in the Aleutians. The mainland of Alaska is far to the east, while the Rock is almost directly between East Cape and the Hawaiian Islands.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 25 Apr 18 - 10:14 PM

Great to have this addition , Lighter!

A shameless plug here for a performance I did, using the less common (nowadays) tune and accompanied by the sort of accordion that _could_ have been used in the 1850s (this style of accordion was extant then; I don't know the date of this particularly instrument's manufacture, but probably no later than 1870s).

Rooling Down to Old Mowhee


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Apr 18 - 07:39 PM

The Boston Daily Globe (Apr. 18, 1915) offers a stanza or two sung by the late Captain James Dowden, an old whaling man who'd been at sea as early as 1855.

Once more we sail with a favoring gale
A-bounding over the main
And soon the hills of the tropic climes
Will be in view again.
Six sluggish months have passed away
Since from your shores sailed we,
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground,
Rolling down to [old] Maui

                   (Chorus)

Rolling down to old Maui, my boys,
Rolling down to old Maui,
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground,
Rolling down to old Maui.

O welcome the seas and the fragrant breeze
Blowing high in the lofty air,
And the pretty maids in the sunny glades
Are gentle kind and fair;
And their pretty eyes looking each way
Hoping some day to see
Our snow-white sails before the gale
Rolling [down] to Old Maui.

The version of stanza 1 given - apparently independently - in the Honolulu Advertiser (Dec. 28, 1947), is identical except for line 2: "Laden with odors rare."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 06:29 PM

Phil, Jack, thanks a lot!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Jack Campin
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 08:27 AM

"Lead" as in the metal - a weight on the end of a sounding line.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 08:15 AM

GUEST,ST

"Mark Twain" stuffs. It's a sounding lead for measuring how deep the water and in some cases the nature of the bottom (sand, mud, gravel &c.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,ST
Date: 13 Jul 17 - 08:00 AM

Sorry for being so clueless, but what "lead" are they going to heave? A piece of heavy metal used for bullets and read as if written "led" or something else read as if written "leed"?

(Granted, it should probably rhyme with the "Diamond Head", but since I've heard "Peterhead" sung as "Peterheed" in "The Bonny Ship the Diamond" this ain't helping much. Couldn't find this verse on YouTube, either. Help me, Mudcat, you're my only hope.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Aug 14 - 10:14 AM

> to create a concert program featuring some chanties

Most interesting. It might account for some of Harlow's seemingly literary verses: tryouts for something appropriate to a '20s choral performance.

"Chanteying" (which is obviously not in finished form) could have used a more critical editor.

(Your next project?)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 09:00 PM

Just to add (not much of a revelation…probably obvious) that Harlow collected newspaper scraps and corresponded with some people about songs. I know that is a bit vague - but it is to say that n the late 1920s when he had decided to write about this stuff, he was indeed seeking out sources, as opposed to relying entirely on his recollection of 1870s experiences.


Interestingly, before the publication of _The Making of a Sailor_, which contains some chanties, Harlow was consulted by the men's Glee Club director at Univ. of Washington to create a concert program featuring some chanties. (The director's own 4-part choir arrangement of one of the chanties appeared in an early manuscript of Harlow's.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 08:25 PM

Another trivial difference. Nye, 1910, has "hath blown" for "did blow."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 07:42 PM

A side note:

The manuscript texts in Frank's 2005 article (which I've not seen), posted above by Charlie in '07, do not exactly correspond to the transcriptions of the same sources in Frank's 2010 _Jolly Sailors_ (which I have seen).

I don't know what sort of footnotes may have appeared in the 2005 article. Just something to watch for, particularly regarding "Diamond Head."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 07:24 PM

I looked at the manuscript of Harlow's work, and some related papers, a couple months ago, in the GW Blunt White Library, Mystic. Sorry to say that nothing regarding Nye caught my attention. I wasn't looking for it though. I'm kicking myself now over a few things I wish I'd looked for.

For what very little it's worth, I can add that "Old Maui" was in a ca.1928 manuscript that later formed 1962's _Chanteying Aboard American Ships_. (Much other material in the 1962 work was not there in 1928.) At the time, Harlow was working on two books, including _The Making of a Sailor_ (1928), and his publisher gently advised him to save the chantey-focused work for a later time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Aug 14 - 01:19 PM

Harlow's source, Captain R. W. Nye, is mentioned in the San Diego Union (Dec. 12, 1901) as "a whaling captain well known on the [Pacific] coast." At the age of 80 in 1924, he set sail in a 40-foot schooner from San Francisco with his wife and one crewman bound for the Galapagos Is.: " 'We want plenty thrills,' he said" (Greensboro, NC, Record (March 9, 1924). I have found nothing else about him. If they didn't make the Galapagos, I'd assume it would have been newsworthy.

Of equal interest: the San Francisco Chronicle of Dec. 25, 1910, carried a feature written by Nye called "Cruising for the California Grey Whale," describing a whaling cruise by Nye as a seaman in the 1850s. It included the words of "The Arctic Whaler's Return," a song Nye says he "wrote as boy and [which] was formerly roared out by the jolly forecastlemen."

It lacks the familiar chorus and Nye offers no tune. Otherwise it's identical to the version in Harlow, except for a few words in stanza 3.

Nye, 1910, says they'll heave their lead

...where the old Diomeds
Loom to their waist in snow.

The Diomeds are in the Bering Strait (the maritime border between the US and Russia), so that makes a lot more sense than having a ship arrive encrusted with ice in the warm waters of Hawaii. The only other difference is that Harlow's "bristling wind" is a "wintry blast" in Nye's song.

Did Harlow learn the song from Nye's singing (or that of a middleman) long after its appearance in the Chronicle? If not, how explain the appearance of the (undistinguished) tune and the illogical variant words?

One more mystery.

But the young whaler R. W. Nye was the probable author of the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 23 Dec 12 - 07:18 PM

Thanks for the reply, Mariner. Whatever others may have sung, the word in the earliest noted versions was definitely "northerly."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: MARINER
Date: 23 Dec 12 - 05:50 PM

Lighter, these would have been early 20th century sailors. I would have known them as old men when I was a young boy over 50 years ago.I come from a community where most of the men went away to sea.Many of the terms they used ,such as "gnarly" would be in common use here until recent times.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Dec 12 - 05:05 PM

Just how "old" were those sailors?

"Gnarly" in that sense is very much a 20th century term. Even a surfer term.

(It originally meant rough with knots or gnarls, like a tree trunk.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Mariner
Date: 22 Dec 12 - 04:16 PM

I always associated the line given here as "once more we sail with a northerly gale" as "Once more we sail with a gnarly gale".Gnarly is a word I've heard used by old sailors to describe a dirty, messy gale. ie' "It was a gnarly old sea ".On the album "Shanties and songs of the Sea" by Johnny Collins, Dave Webber and Pete Watkinson the word gnarly is used in their rendition of Maui. At least that what it sounds like to my ear.!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 11:43 PM

Alas, Charley, I was at the CVS drug store the other day loading up my giant duffle bag full of essential items I needed for my abode (I hike and bus ride, you see), and I had a large bottle of the Sailor Jerry's in tow, but had to put it back when I reached the cash register-- over budget!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 11:10 PM

Gibb-

Not bad but might be even better if you had a couple of cups of grog.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 11 Aug 12 - 12:54 PM

Well, I gave it a shot. I ain't vouching for anything!
Harlow's structure, Huntington's lyrics:

Rolling Down to Old Mohee


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 05:44 PM

Lighter-

What's your going rate for leading your version at the next annual meeting of The International Association of Cetaceans?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 03:31 PM

Thanks, Charlie.

WARNING: I NOW ASSERT COPYRIGHT TO THE RECONSTRUCTED VERSION I POSTED IN 2007! HANDS OFF!! IT'S ALL MINE!!! JUST THINKING THE WORDS COULD COST YOU!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 01:09 PM

This entire thread deserves a serious review for anyone considering a new post. It really represents some of the best work here at Mudcat Central.

And, Lighter, you should record (and copyright) the early version that you channeled.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble, searching for fresh-water whales off the sea-girt shoals off Port Chicago


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 12:32 PM

Assuming that all whalers pronounced it the same way.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 07:37 PM

No, it may never have been a work song- sloppy language on my part. But it would be nice to know just how the whalers would have pronounced Maui.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 02:40 PM

Q--
FWIW it's not been documented in use as a work song anywhere.
One of the American Canoe Association publications calls it a "shanty song," but I believe they were using that term generically to refer to "sailor song."

That, incidentally is interesting in itself -- that circa early 1890s someone was using "shanty" like that, even though prior publications had made a very clear distinction that shanties were work songs. A decade later, it would be less surprising.

Lighter--

If it's discovered that Hugill invented the song ca1923, I'll make an "I love Stan Hugill" t-shirt and wear it during my pilgrimage to Aberdovey, where I will get my head shaved and then circumambulate the Hugill home counterclockwise, repeating, "No sea songs but Stan's sea songs...."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 01:51 PM

In the back of my mind, I wonder what the commonest pronunciation of Maui was back in the 1850s-1860s, and how the Arctic whalers who came to Lahaina would pronounce it. We all seem to accept "Mohee."

The "Lass" song, 1847 Cortes, has "Mowee"; Cook's late 18th C. map has "Mowee," and I have seen that spelling in material preserved in the archives in Honolulu. Native Hawaiians would say "Mo-wee."

Was that changed in sung versions to "Mohee" to give the word more emphasis?

Lahaina on Maui was not just a whaling destination. It was the capital of Hawai'i until the move to Honolulu in 1845, and was (and is) a center for the educational and publications efforts of the missions.

I think it more likely that the visiting whalers would hear and adopt "Mo-wee" rather than the "Mo-hee" of the old song sheets, but aboard ship chantey use in work might require more emphasis, hence "Mo-hee."

Dunno!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 08:24 AM

Yeah, but what if he invented it not ca1970 but ca1923, when he was a shantyman and a working sailor?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 09 Aug 12 - 04:21 AM

100


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 09:23 PM

Lighter-- We're waiting for you to record it!

An explanation: I like to have some understanding --when I can-- about the songs I sing. That understanding is not limited to positive knowledge, the black and white. There are also shades of grey. Even with speculation, there are shades of more and less likely. I accept that we'll never know for sure--this is the historian's credo. But when one shifts to the act of performance, one must *commit*; one goes one way or another. There is no "vague" in performance, no way to indicate the presence of the unknown. I prefaced my new comments on this thread with the note that I am revisiting this song because I'd like to sing it--with an historically informed understanding, and yet that act of performance requires acting on guesses.

My current sense is that this song would not likely have been sung with the pronunciation "Maui," therefore I reject that aspect of Hugill's performance. And I think that Hugill almost "pulled a Bert Lloyd" with this song, which makes me want to get at the "heart" of the song (so far as possible) without the distraction of what Hugill may or may not have invented ca1970.

Yeah, a personal interest, I guess.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 08:13 PM

The line that seems to be most often mangled deals with 'the horrid tiles of sea-cut ice' (this one makes sense to me) or'But the hoary heads of the sea-girt isles' (possible)or 'Ah the horrid ice of the Sekut Isles' (unlikely), or 'The horrid isles of ice cut tiles' (also unlikely) or 'The horrid isles of ice cut tiles'. To my, they all point to a single source (who may have mumbled a bit).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 08:13 PM

If the question is one of Hugill's influence on the revival, I have no doubt at all that his version is behind most revival performances.

The exceptions would be those that derive instead from Lloyd & co.'s singing - to a different tune - on the album "Leviathan!"

Has anybody recorded the "reconstructed" version I posted here in 2007? I bet not.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 07:18 PM

It's 104 degrees F where I am right now...has been in 100s all week, no let up. That's my excuse. Please forgive my scatterbrains and typos! Thanks :/


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 06:36 PM

write it as...
learning two cards....

Sorry for numerous typos.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 06:19 PM

To clarify, I am not asserting that anything positive can be concluded from Hugill's pronunciation. I am:

1) Remarking that it seems curious (i.e. a red flag is going up) that even though all other versions right it as "Mohee/Mohea" or note that it should be pronounced so, Hugill did not. This inconsistency doesn't by itself prove anything, but in my opinion it adds more suggestive evidence to the pile that says Hugill was greatly responsible for the form of the popular version. Or rather, it suggests, again in my opinion, that he may have had more hand in it, rather than less. That is, whatever Paddy Griffith story is attached to it, I believe we should remain cautious of letting that make the version appear too "authentic."

2) Suggesting that the pronunciation be taken in conjunction with other evidence to propose that Colcord's book, rather than PG's singing, may have been the heavier basis. It is like leaning to cards on one another to make them stand up. Take one away and it will surely fall down; I am propping up, for argument's sake, the pronunciation thing along with the text analysis.

Whether PG's version was fragmentary and Hugill reconstructed it from Colcord, or whether he altered and elaborated on PG's song to suit his own taste w/o Colcord, I think is unknowable without a very close textual analysis of all versions.

This is exactly what I've been talking about. My claim is that the other versions look to be transformations of a supposed original text that I would expect to occur in an unconscious oral process, but I think Hugill's looks like it launches of from Colcord. If it were a Paddy Griffith's form, I would expect the variations to be such that it was more unique overall. Paddy Griffiths' and Colcord's informant could not have made the same "random" variations to the text. And if you compare Colcord's line to Hugill's, in most cases it is easy to imagine where and why Hugill might have switched one word to another.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 05:00 PM

Isn't it just as likely that if he'd used Colcord he'd have adopted her "old-time" pronunciation? And isn't it possible that PG pronounced it "Maui"?

I don't think any conclusion can be drawn about anything just from Hugill's pronunciation.

Also, my take on the credit to "Stan Hugill" in his final book is that it's most likely to assert some kind of presumption of copyright. After all, he *did* preserve a previously uncollected tune. The notice tells readers that he didn't get the song from someone else's book.

Again, I don't believe any conclusion can be drawn.

There's no reason to doubt that Hugill learned the words and melody from Paddy Griffiths, who seems to have learned the song before 1890. Whether PG's version was fragmentary and Hugill reconstructed it from Colcord, or whether he altered and elaborated on PG's song to suit his own taste w/o Colcord, I think is unknowable without a very close textual analysis of all versions. And I'm not certain that that would be conclusive either because the texts are fairly short and conventional.

It seems likely that Hugill created the final stanza, in the post-Kipling environment of the 1920s, but even that isn't certain. Maybe PG had sung part of it and Hugill simply filled in some blanks.

Of course, I haven't looked at the various versions closely in a number of years.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 03:24 PM

why wouldn't he also have "corrected" the pronunciation to "Maui"?

He may have, indeed. If he heard Paddy G sing "Mohee." I am suggesting that he didn't have to change it; it was already done by Colcord. Whether or not he heard Paddy G, Colcord's text may have been a bigger influence. I'm basis that mostly on text comparison.

I read Hugill's version as structured as follows:

1st verse based in Harlow. This verse appears as the last verse in documented versions, but Hugill moved it to the front due to it not making aesthetic sense after his "big fat aching head" last verse.

Subsequent verses based in Colcord. Except for the last verse, which Hugill probably wrote.

There is a general switch to a more hedonistic tone, playing up the image of wild rum-thirsty sailors who just don't give a damn damn DAMN, damnit!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 02:43 PM

One explanation is that she heard the name of the island pronounced that way by her father's crew in the 1890s.

Another is that when R. M. Davids gave her "The Lass of Mohee," he told her it meant Maui.

Or someone else told her the pronunciation had changed, and she added a footnote to indicate how it was pronounced in the old days.

William Nevens's "Forty Years at Sea" (1845) also spells it "Mohee."

Mohea, or Pulo Mohea, is a small island off the west coast of Thailand. (Conceivably it is the locale, chosen at random, of "The Lass of Mohea." That might explain why she's an "Indian" lass.)

If, as seems likely, Hugill colloquializied some of the words and even created the final stanza, why wouldn't he also have "corrected" the pronunciation to "Maui"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 02:09 PM

The song "The Lass of Mowee," Cortes 1847, does not have the spelling "Mohee" found in most versions and in the chantey. The song is printed in Huntington with a tune, which is not given a source. In the same book, "Rolling Down to Old Mohee," from theAtkins Adams 1858 (New Bedford), also has a tune; source not given.

Did Harlow comment on any source for music of "The Lass of Mowee"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 01:32 PM

The lack of tune implies Colcord got it from a written source. Yet if so how would she know it was pronounced "Mohee"? Perhaps it was written as "Mohee" but she took the liberty to change it to "Maui." Then Harlow, who referenced Colcord, followed suit.

The bigger mystery still is why Hugill would have pronounced it "Maui" if he'd gotten it from an oral source. The explanation, "Just to be correct," does not convince me. I suggest he used Colcord's book as a guideline.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:42 PM

GUEST was me, after many tries over two hours.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:40 PM

Gibb, since Colcord had no tune for a full and coherent text, my guess is that the poem/song came from a written source - possibly a correspondent, a log book, or a fugitive broadside.

Here's some info on the "Guy C. Goss," launched in 1879:

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nzbound/goss.htm

And a nice photo:

http://content.lib.washington.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/alaskawcanada&CISOPTR=584

If R. W. Nye was ever a whaler, it seems not to have been aboard the Goss.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 12:10 PM

The ballad "The Lass of Mohea" (The Indian Lass, The Lass of Mohee, Little Mohee and other names) is printed with music by Colcord, version of R. M. Davids, with comment "....was a great favorite with the Arctic whalers."
This song, noted in the journal of William Histed of the Cortes, 1847, may have been the source of the whalers' pronunciation (idle speculation).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 11:44 AM

Colcord, in a footnote to "Rolling Down to Old Maui," states "Pronounced "Mo-hee.""
She placed it in her section of Forecastle songs, remarks that it was a favorite with the "bow-head" whalemen who would put in to Hawai'i on their homeward voyage. The center for these whalemen was Lahaina (Roads) in Maui, where in one season, 400 ships put in there.

Maui lacks the glottal stop before the terminal 'i' (as in Hawai'i). Captain Cook's map of the Sandwich Islands shows the island as "Mowee." The word might have sounded like "mo-hee (mo-hea)" to the whalers. Hawai'i is spelled Owhyhee on the same map, the 'h' indicating a glottal stop; the whalers may have put in a glottal stop in Maui in error.

Colcord (her book first published in 1924), as noted by Gibb Sahib, gives no source.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 08 Aug 12 - 04:33 AM

"The Music of the Waters." [review essay] _Forest and Stream_ 32(5) (21 Feb. 1889). Pg 100.

//

Among the odd bits of flotsam and jetsam m the form of song and story that are thrown up each year at this same meet [of the American Canoe Association] is a good sea song which we have never seen in print, a reminiscence of the whaling days of our correspondent "Tarpon," an old sailor as well as canoeist. The first verse is as follows:

"Once more with flowing northern gales
We're bounding o'er the main, 

Those verdant hills of the tropic isles
We soon shall see again. 

Five sluggish moons have waxed and waned
Since from those shores sailed we. 

But now we're bound from the Arctic ground.
Rolling down to old Mohea." 


"Rolling down to old Mohea, my boys,
Rolling down to old Mohea, 

We're once more bound from the Arctic ground 

Rolling down from [sic] old Mohea."
//

There is another source, though it does not quote any lyrics, that states this song was introduced to the campers in 1885.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down to Old Maui
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 07 Aug 12 - 10:15 PM

I'm revisiting this song because I'd like to learn to sing a non-Hugill-based version. A few questions remain with me.

1. Where did Colcord get her version?

2. The version presented by Harlow, and the journal texts (incl. Huntington) all have a consistency that appears like the same song put through oral transmission. Colcord's certainly does, too, but for whatever reason (perhaps just happenstance) it looks (to me) like it stands apart. That is, the versions with a known source cohere as a group, from which Colcord's is notably different.

Now, I appreciate Lighter's directly gathered information that Hugill learned the song from Paddy Griffiths. However, I'd also note a distinct similarity between Hugill and Colcord -- Hugill's lines sometimes appearing to be "improved" versions of Colcord. I think it somewhat less likely that Hugill's and Colcord's versions would form a "branch" of variations that was distinct from the branch represented by Harlow, Huntington, etc. I think it more likely that Colcord's was a variation and that Hugill utilized it.

The speculative scenario that I propose is that Hugill heard the song sung by Paddy Griffiths, but for whatever reason (e.g. he forgot the words) he recreated his own rendition with the help of Colcord and with his own compositions. It may be notable that, in the index of Songs of the Sea, Hugill credits the song to himself.

I guess my question is: What do you think?

3. Why is it that no one (??to my knowledge) has sung "Mohee"? The journal versions all say Mohee, and both Harlow and Colcord note that it was pronounced that way -- presumably as they had heard it sung. See also the introduction of "Rolling Down from Old Mohee" to the American Canoe Club in 1885. So if Hugill heard it sung by PG, wouldn't we expect he heard it as Mohee? Why did he not sing it that way?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: GUEST,Overboard
Date: 27 Mar 11 - 05:37 PM

I think the tune actualy comes from a catholic mass


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Rollin' Down To Old Maui
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 08:48 AM

To be pedantic, I should say "the poem."

No tunes were reported until well into the twentieth century, though Hugill's tune was almost certainly associated with the words in the late nineteenth, and the same is probably true of Harlow's as well.

As said earlier, Hugill's tune, without the Maui words, comes from the eighteenth century.


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