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Origins: Blood Red Roses (what's it mean?)

DigiTrad:
BLOOD RED ROSES


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Blood-Red Roses, WW2 version (19)
'Blood Red Roses' in 'Holby City' (19)
happy? - Mar 29 (Blood Red Roses) (6)
Lyr Req: Go down you bugged computer (23)


sophocleese 08 May 01 - 10:15 AM
Charley Noble 08 May 01 - 10:31 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 May 01 - 10:32 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 08 May 01 - 10:54 AM
Charley Noble 08 May 01 - 11:32 AM
Naemanson 08 May 01 - 11:36 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 May 01 - 11:37 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 May 01 - 11:44 AM
LR Mole 08 May 01 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,JohnB 08 May 01 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,chanteyranger 08 May 01 - 12:48 PM
Les from Hull 08 May 01 - 12:52 PM
Irish sergeant 08 May 01 - 01:13 PM
Margo 08 May 01 - 03:17 PM
Margo 08 May 01 - 03:22 PM
Mr Red 08 May 01 - 03:33 PM
pattyClink 08 May 01 - 03:43 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 08 May 01 - 04:02 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 08 May 01 - 04:07 PM
sophocleese 08 May 01 - 04:13 PM
fat B****rd 08 May 01 - 04:40 PM
Dave the Gnome 08 May 01 - 04:45 PM
Abby Sale 08 May 01 - 11:21 PM
LR Mole 09 May 01 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,Mr Red@Library 09 May 01 - 11:36 AM
CRANKY YANKEE 09 May 01 - 01:13 PM
Charley Noble 09 May 01 - 02:18 PM
Dave the Gnome 09 May 01 - 02:41 PM
Metchosin 09 May 01 - 03:49 PM
Metchosin 09 May 01 - 04:36 PM
Charley Noble 09 May 01 - 04:46 PM
MsMoon 09 May 01 - 05:17 PM
Abby Sale 09 May 01 - 07:13 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 10 May 01 - 12:37 AM
IanC 10 May 01 - 05:54 AM
Charley Noble 10 May 01 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,Mr Red@Library 10 May 01 - 10:48 AM
Dave the Gnome 10 May 01 - 11:05 AM
IanC 10 May 01 - 11:24 AM
Wotcha 11 May 01 - 02:31 AM
Mr Red 13 May 01 - 12:31 PM
sophocleese 13 May 01 - 05:10 PM
Snuffy 13 May 01 - 06:34 PM
toadfrog 13 May 01 - 06:43 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 13 May 01 - 07:02 PM
Shields Folk 13 May 01 - 07:13 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 13 May 01 - 07:20 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 13 May 01 - 07:21 PM
Shields Folk 13 May 01 - 07:30 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 13 May 01 - 07:49 PM
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Subject: Blood Red Roses
From: sophocleese
Date: 08 May 01 - 10:15 AM

I heard a friend sing Blood Red Roses a while ago and am now learning it. What does "blood red roses" mean in this song? And where did it start?


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 May 01 - 10:31 AM

This question should keep this thread unraveling. I'm sure you'll find discussion already on a previous thread if you search for *blood red roses*.

The short answer is that there is no consensus of explanation. Great shanty when done with full spirit!


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 May 01 - 10:32 AM

I am led to believe that the 'Blood red roses' refered to here are the redcoats being carried overseas on boats. The sailors, being dressed in whites or blues, refered to the soldiers, possibly marines, by this term because of the colour of their uniform coats.

Don't realy know if it is true but makes some sort of sense if you accept that the song is a shanty or at least of nautical origins.

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 08 May 01 - 10:54 AM

As I understood it, the Blood Red Roses were the blisters and calluses that grew on your hands due to hauling wet rope in cold weather. you'd want them to go down as they hurt like B%^$*%$*%y!

Soldiers a-shipboard were more often called Lobsters or Bloodybacks, tho' I'm not saying that DtG is wrong...


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 May 01 - 11:32 AM

Remember, despite what Alexander Kent writes, shanties were not supposed to be sung on British naval ships. Therefore, it's unlikely that the reference would be to those red uniformed marines. There are references in other sea songs to "bunch of roses" and, who knows, maybe there was a ship called the Rose, whose crew was known as the Roses. Even money...


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Naemanson
Date: 08 May 01 - 11:36 AM

Dave's theory is one I've heard before but it has one flaw. Navy ships did not use shanties so they wouldn't have been singing a shanty about the red coats in the rigging.

I hadn't heard the one about blisters but it makes sense.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 May 01 - 11:37 AM

I think the ban on Shanties on British ships (Royal Navy Only - never applied to the merchant fleet) stemmed from Napoleonic times. Prior to that they would have been allowed. The 'Bunch of Roses' or 'Bonny bunch of roses' is again, I believe, Napoleonic. Napoleon and his commanders refering to the Countries making up the UK as 'the bunch of roses'. Dunno why though - perhaps some 'in' French joke of the time???

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 May 01 - 11:44 AM

and just had another thought (Why does that always heppen - hit the submit button and something else occurs to you??? Ah Well...)

I think I am right in saying that shanties were allowed on merchantmen. If the merchant fleet were used in transporting armies during times of great need because the RN vessels were all involved in sea battles then could the merchant seamen have used the shanties to either praise or lampoon their 'cargo'?

There is probably no real answer as Charlie said before but it makes more interesting reading than some of the thread we have had of late;-)

Keep it up, you mudcat posters, keep it up...

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: LR Mole
Date: 08 May 01 - 12:00 PM

I think it has to do with venereal disease, since the next line seems to compare it to "Yer boots and posies (poses?)" and the distinctly piratical cast of many of the verses.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 08 May 01 - 12:35 PM

The version I heard was the Bloody Blister one, although I can't remember where, when or who. Or all the verses either if it comes to that. John Er?


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: GUEST,chanteyranger
Date: 08 May 01 - 12:48 PM

Merchant seamen sometimes used Naval themes in their chanteys, and often had a disdain for soldiers, as heard in the bunting chantey, "The Royal Artillery man." I've heard the redcoats explanation for Blood Red Roses as well. Chantey singer Allan MacLeod says that the blood red roses refers to a red rose insignia on a flag aboard British ships, but was sung as a double entendre - poking fun at soldiers.

-chanteyranger


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Les from Hull
Date: 08 May 01 - 12:52 PM

DtG - certainly the merchant fleet was used to transport British troops. The Royal Navy only had a few transports itself (usually converted from 'over-age' or redundant warships), and so hired merchant vessels. For example, there were well over 300 transports hired to convey Sir John Moore's army from Corunna, and ever more for the Walcheren Expedition.

I'm not sure that would explain the song, though. I'm of the blister school myself, though I'm sure that a regularly-employed seaman's hands would be hardened enough to avoid blisters. Newcomers (always a butt of jokes anywhere, but even more so at sea) could suffer agonies before their hands grew the necessary callouses (they were encouraged to soak their hands in salt water and to piss on them!)

Les


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 08 May 01 - 01:13 PM

Great post! I recently learned the song and I sing it upon occasion. Thanks for a great thread. Kindest reguards, neil


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Margo
Date: 08 May 01 - 03:17 PM

Like many shanties, I'm inclined to believe the double entendre idea. Yes, I believe the English empire was referred to as the bonny bunch of roses, as well as the heart of oak.

I wonder what the meaning of "go down" is as that, it would seem, would have a bearing on what the blood red roses are... go down = may you sink into the sea???

Just a guess, Margo


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Margo
Date: 08 May 01 - 03:22 PM

Like many shanties, I'm inclined to believe the double entendre idea. Yes, I believe the English empire was referred to as the bonny bunch of roses, as well as the heart of oak.

I wonder what the meaning of "go down" is as that, it would seem, would have a bearing on what the blood red roses are... go down = may you sink into the sea???

Just a guess, Margo


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Mr Red
Date: 08 May 01 - 03:33 PM

The Royal Navy was the "silent service" because a crowd of singing sailors would be heard before they could be seen on relatively calm seas. If they can't see you you can't see them so you don't know when they are over the horizon.
I will consult Uncle Stan on this one. But Royal Navy song it ain't, whatever the red referrence is to. Would Royal Naval sailors pawn there boots & shoes? AND did the Royal Navy venture round the Horn that often?. There were always plenty of men to work on military ships, no need for super-efficiency.
No surprise that I song this one, is there?


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: pattyClink
Date: 08 May 01 - 03:43 PM

i have a dim recollection of the story of this song, maybe it was in a Hugill book, but I can't find it again. The job of hauling anchor chain literally involves a man or two hanging over the side of the ship, so it was 'hang down' in some versions. Dim recollection that the 'roses' were the greenhorns of the crew...come on, some shantyman out there has seen this in print...I'm not losing my mind, am I?


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 08 May 01 - 04:02 PM

Hugill's references to this song are contradicted by some old whalermen I knew in England when I was a boy. These men told me the song was about killing whales. In the early morning or late afteroon the sun shining through the bloody spray that the dying whales blew out of their blow holes as they breathed their last reminded the men of Roses and pinks and posies growing in the garden. As the whales slowly died, the spray got less and less. This made the mens job of towing the whale to the ship easier; and therefore was something they all wished for. Hence the line "Go down you blood red roses go down! Yours, Aye. Dave


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 08 May 01 - 04:07 PM

I should add that the whales were punctured in the lungs by long lances to hasten their demise. Until the whales were dead they often towed the harpooneer and his mates long distances and this was a dangerous event. Known as a "Nantucket Sleigh Ride". Dave


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: sophocleese
Date: 08 May 01 - 04:13 PM

Thanks for all the info on this question. I did try searching before posting but didn't find anything that answered me. It seems that some people have different words from the DT version, click here, and I would be interested to see what they sing. I looked at several books in the library this morning but found no copy of this song.

I was confused by the references to soldiers as the version I can see is about whalers so couldn't see a connection. If you've got different words that would account for it.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: fat B****rd
Date: 08 May 01 - 04:40 PM

I once read, but can't recall where, that Spanish galleons had a red rose as an emblem on their sails.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 May 01 - 04:45 PM

We do the old schoolboy 'smutty' (non)rhyme to it

As I was going by St Pauls
Go down etc
A woman grabbed me by the elbow
Go down etc

Oh, you pinks and posies
etc etc etc

She says you look a man of pluck
Come inside and have a sandwich

etc etc etc

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Abby Sale
Date: 08 May 01 - 11:21 PM

I think one of the earliest recordings of it is as late as MacColl on Whaling Ballads, 1966. He says then it was grand but rare. He quotes one former bosun, Ned Close, as having used it as a whaler but having no idea what the refrain meant.

There's some justification for accepting any meaning is lost if you listen to the Caribbean "Come Down, You Roses" - equally grand and rare - (Boarding Party as well as several of the Caribbean field recordings) There's a clear (to me) relation between the two songs but in "Come Down.." there's less room to find any symbolic meaning.

In the few instances I've heard & read (Abrahams) of contemporary rowboat whalers sing the chanties, they little know or care what the words mean when those words are equivacal. They're more interested in whether they can well pull to the song. (!)


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: LR Mole
Date: 09 May 01 - 10:10 AM

Two verses Farina used to sing, from memory (and therefore probably inexactly rendered):
Our good old captain said to me (go down, etc.)
We'll plunder to a high degree(etc.)
On no-man's land we'll dance around ()
We'll drive the roses underground ()
Now, Farina, like a lot of singers back then, was fond of new words to old melodies (his "Birmingham Sunday" was to "I Loved A Lass", and probably older than that), but if there's a double meaning here I don't get it. Mathews' Southern Comfort had a good, surprisingly rocking version of it.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: GUEST,Mr Red@Library
Date: 09 May 01 - 11:36 AM

The whaling reference sounds the most plausible to me.
I have the Doerflinger book as well Hugill. I must consult both
I have found DT versions often at odds with my other sources and sometimes with itself
eg Wild Colonial Boy 1st verse in the tune database is the one I sing, the text refers to Jack Doolan or some such.
isn't this folk process fun?


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 09 May 01 - 01:13 PM

The lyrics to the verses don't really matter. The "GO DOWN YOU BLOOD RED ROSES GO DOWN" is Instruction for sweating tops'l halyards. "Go"... crew pulls the halyard out perpendicular to the ,mast. "Down" They feed it to whoever is holding the turn around the pin.

This chantey takes into consideration the swtretch and bounce of the halyard and load. That's why the "sweats" are in sets of two. And that's why the "Oh you pinks and posies" gets stretched out,. At this point, the stretch is all out of the halyard and the yard is at the top of it's bounce.

If you've ever sweated a halyard with something really heavy on the other end , l8ike the bower anchor, it reaches a point where you just can't get the load to move anymore, right? So, you turn to eachother and say,something like, "What the hell, it just won't move" upon which the Captain says, "Try it again ". so you do and LO AND BEHOLD THE LOAD MOVES AGAIN. Here'sw why

with all the stretch out of the halyard and it being at the top of the bounce, it starts to bounce "downward" as the rope compresses. When it starts to bounce up again, that's the time to start sweating again. O>K>?,BR.,BR.Stam Hughill is full of shit. . I picked up a copy of his shanty book and opened it at random, First thing I read he says, "Strike the bell is an old traditional; Irish Ballad tune. IN A PIGS ASS IT IS. Henry Clay work, wrote the song ,"Watchman strike the bell" which is where the tune came from. He was not known for adapting folk songs. He also wrote, "Marching through Georgia," My Grandfather's Clock" "Father dear Father come home with me now" and about umpteen others.
Well, says I to myself, "Everyone's entitled to mad a mistake now and then.

Then I came to "Row Bullies Row" which is a dandy song for keeping multiple sets of oars synchronized. BUT NOT THE WAY STAN WRITES IT. He threw the Meter right out the window. And if you sing it the way he wrote it, You start the second verse pushing on the oars instead of pulling on them. Forget the long Row...............Row Bullies Row, and just sing Row, Row Bullies Row without the long note. It comes out reight this way,. show it to someone who understands meter and he'll agree that this way, the meter stays consistent. Then I came across Blood Red Roses and his kakamaimee bit of "looking for social significance" and his "The red uniforms of the British Soldiers art Waterloo and the Frenchmen clling them Blood Red Roses. What a bunch of claptrap./ Anyone who tries to find social signigicance in a sea chantey gets seven years bad luck and if you believe Stan Hughgill, you get 14 years bad luck. read Joanna Colcord's book or Frederick Pease Harlowe's "Chanteying aboard American Ships" He describes them the way I use them. The first time I ran into Stan Hughgill, He was on stage at Mystic Folk Festival with the audience composed mostly of families with children, and he proceeded to pull a botle of Rum out of his back pocket and get "Falling Down Drunk"on stage, thereby furthering the bullshit about the "Drunken Sailor"

I am, in case you're curious, a Professional Boatswain on square rigged ships, and REAL chanteyman, who is in charge of whatever operation he is engaged in.

I had a friend "Herb Spinney" Who was the most experienced Square Rigger sailor I've ever met. When Herby was a young man he was Boatswain of "Lawhill", One of the ships in "The Last Grain Race" in 1939. First time I met him I was singing some chantey or other on stage at the "Bay Voyage" in Jamestown, RI, He waltzed up on stage and, in a deep resonant BOOMING voice said, "Back 'er down there ol' son, you're killing the crew" . Herby taught me a lot about working with Chanteys. He said that the "Go Down" preceeded the rest of the song, it was part of a parody of "Go Down Moses" and it went (Same tune as Blood red roses) Go Down, bloody Moses, Go Down," "Thinks his toes is roses", (from "Moses supposes his toeses is roses) But, Ship Captains were very often deeply religious people and they objected to the cavalier use of a spiritual song. So, it was changed to the way it's sung now.

Don't believe this just because I said it's so, think about it, read what you can on the subject, and make up your own mind.

Herby was lost at sea a few years back . He was Captain of a George's Banks Commercial Fishing boat when he was lost. RIP Herby.

Jody Gibson.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 May 01 - 02:18 PM

Cranky – what you say with regard to the "use" of a song like "Blood Red Roses" makes sense to me, along with the idea that "Go Down Moses" might just be related. I wish you had more patience or tolerance with other people's theories when you disagree with them, but then why else would you call yourself "Cranky Yankee"?


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 09 May 01 - 02:41 PM

Hey Charley! Always believe the chanteyman - he's the boss when it comes to pullin' together;-)

Thanks for starting a very interesting thread sophoclese and thanks one and all for keeping it so. More so for being able to disagree and discuss each others views on the whys and wherefores without resorting to some of the jibes (nautical pun intended) on other threads!

I'm sure Stan wouldn't have minded Jody's frank and forthright views - After all Jody makes his living with the real stuff while Stan makes a living teaching computer consultants like me about a life we'll never know. And seeing as us consultants know a thing or two about BS I reckon everyones entitled to a bit of it at least....

Each to his own

Cheers and hoping for plain sailing:-)

Dave the Gnautical Gnome


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Metchosin
Date: 09 May 01 - 03:49 PM

Actually Cranky Yankee, for authenticity I would not rely on Johanna Colcord, but get hold of a copy of Shanties by W.B. Whall, Master Mariner. I quote from his book published in 1910, Ships, Sea Songs and Shanties:

"As to Shanties, two attempts, so far as I know, have been made to collect them: these were not successful because the writers were not well equipped for the work. If a lady goes round sailors' boarding homes and attempts to copy down words and music of Shanties from men, she is bound to fail. First, sailors are shy with ladies. Secondly, few of these songs have words which seaman would care to sing to a lady in cold blood. And thirdly, very few sailors were shanty men." I believe he was referring to Colcord here.

Regarding Runciman
"a mercantile officer, who, presumably started sea life too late to have known Shanties in their prime ... who sang the tunes to a musical friend who harmonized and wrote accompaniments to them ... This was bad enough, but to make things worse, the author put words of his own to the songs; this, of course, at once took away any possible value they might have had"

Regarding the content of what was sung, not the form
"now seaman who spent their time on cargo-carrying ships" (as opposed to those on passenger ships who were regaled to clean up their acts until the passengers were removed) "never heard a decent Shanty; the words which sailor John put to them, when unrestrained, were the veriest filth."
And here he cites Hog-Eye Man and considering the verses I have heard, rightly too eg:
'O Nellie's in the kitchen punching duff,
And the cheeks of her arse go chuff, chuff chuff.'
And that was one of the nicer verses of which I am personally aware.

He goes on:
"It was in these vessels--and only these that a collector of songs was wanted, and it is only is such vessels that a collection could have been made. Such a collection was made, both of Songs and Shanties, by me."

He is not particularly modest, but I am inclined to believe him, as he was at sea aboard the East Indiamen for eleven years, starting in 1861, and states, from 1872 onwards, he had "not heard a Shanty or Song worth the name" ..at least on his side of the pond.

I have seen references on the Web that Blood Red Roses originated in New Zealand. Can anyone confirm this?


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Metchosin
Date: 09 May 01 - 04:36 PM

Oddly enough, my brother just called regarding another sea-song related topic and I recounted this discussion to him. He used to do this piece and teach Shanty workshops in Port Townsend when he was a member of Lime Bay Mutiny .

He too was of the opinion that the Blood Red Roses were a reference to the whales spurting their last puff from blood filled lungs.

He also thought that the reason Row Bullies Row or (Roll Bullies Roll, as it is also known in some quarters) did not follow a proper work form was that it was a Forecastle song and not a work song at all. He also stated that there were probably others more knowlegeable here that would dispute that, but that was his opinion.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 May 01 - 04:46 PM

It's true that there are few bawdy shanties in the Joanna Colcord book "Roll & Go" but that may have had more to do with what could be published in the 1920's than her sex or skill as a collector. Her father was a master of square riggers and she and her brother Lincoln (another fine writer of sea stories) grew up aboard ship; they had plenty of time to nose about and learn whatever rude things the sailors sang; for more detail read the recently published "Letters from Sea: Joanna & Lincoln Colcord's Seafaring Childhood" by Parker Bishop Albee, Jr.

Then again, we've never seen the unexpurgated collection of Stan Hugill in print, and what we have seen is replete with wistful musing of having to disguise unprintable lyrics; Stan did sing the unexpurgated versions to one and all at various late night parties at those wonderful Mystic Sea Port Sea Songs Festivals.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: MsMoon
Date: 09 May 01 - 05:17 PM

Row Bullies Row is used at Mystic Seaport only for pumping and capstan work.


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Subject: RE: other bawdy stuff
From: Abby Sale
Date: 09 May 01 - 07:13 PM

Speaking of which, I've several times heard it that "Leave Her, Johnny, Leave Her" was the bawdiest of all of a raunchy bunch of songs - together with it's slams of the officers it "was tantamount to mutiny to sing it before the last day of the voyage" as a final pumping-out chantey, I believe. Yet, I've never seen even a slightly off-color verse out of many printed. Anyone know if any survived?

Second: As to Hugill's bawdy collection (and I believe there must be one) Legman claimed to have it and to be working on it. This is in a footnote of his stupendous production of the Randolph "Unprintable" books. What he did for the great Randolph, he would do for Hugill. Since Legman's death nothing has surfaced here. Now there would be a research project! Find that manuscript. I wonder whatever happened to the rest of Legman's library, come to that.

I think it's a scandal that there's not a single scholarly collection of bawdy sea songs in the whole world.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 10 May 01 - 12:37 AM

Hey, Row Bullies Row, is PERFECT FOR SYCHRONIZING THE OARSMEN,. If you sing it to the right meter./ Meter is ALL imprtant in using chanteys. Row Bullies Row is not only a good rhythm for rowing, it also provides a definite place to "roll" your wrists in both directions, for "feathering" the oars so y ou don't have to waste energy lifting them up after each stroke. you just let them skip along the surface (if they're feathered right)

Just hop intop a rowing vessel, and start singing as you row,. DO NOT PUT THE LONG ROOOOOOOOW..................... BEFORE ROW BULLIES ROW.There is still the word "Row" on each oar stroke in this passage. This is in 3/4 time, not 3/4 with one 4/4 bar. And furthermopre, anything can be used a s a chantey if it workds. After youre rowing exercise, see if you don't change your mind about whether or not this is usefull to coordinate oarsmen.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: IanC
Date: 10 May 01 - 05:54 AM

Hi Cranky

Referring to "Strike the bell", I'm not sure what youy say about the tune is true (though I might dispute the "Irish" origin. It is used in other contexts as a work song, and there are one or two English folk songs where the tune is used.

Just because HCW usually wrote his own tunes, doesn't mean he always did.

I'm interested, so I'll look through the forum before starting a new thread on this one.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 May 01 - 08:18 AM

Say, maybe, this would be the time to revive that old shanty "Wake Up, Suzianna," the precursor to "Wake Up, Little Susie" that I found lining the drawer in an old sea chest.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: GUEST,Mr Red@Library
Date: 10 May 01 - 10:48 AM

Neither uncle Stan nor Doerflinger profer an explanantion for the "Blood red roses" nor "pinks and posies".
uncle Stan referred to "camaflaging" words and in some cases it is reasonably clear what words were pruderized.
Hugill was clear that each ship had versions.
NZ was a busy whaling nation last (but one) centuary.
hence "Davy Lowston"


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 10 May 01 - 11:05 AM

I thought Davy Lowston was a sealer rather than a whaler? Or is this thread complicated enough already;-)

Nice to see the 'uncle' Stan moniker. I hadn't seen it in ages and was reminded of the tale told of Mr Hugils visit to Poland - he was refered to there as 'Saint' Stan apparantly!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: IanC
Date: 10 May 01 - 11:24 AM

CY

My apologies. Having looked at all the available evidence, it looks as if you're right about "Strike The Bell". None of the songs to the tune seem to be as old as HCW's.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Wotcha
Date: 11 May 01 - 02:31 AM

Just watch the movie "Moby Dick." Didn't A.L. Lloyd lead some of the chanteys ...? "Blood Red Roses" was one of them. The colorized version (of course can't be seen in France ... damn droit d' auteur) of the movie certainly shows the whales spouting red ... on that sleigh ride. It was only a movie but highly instructional.
Cheers,
Brian


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Mr Red
Date: 13 May 01 - 12:31 PM

Talking to Mike Starkie (Bristol Shantymen & Westerliegh Wailers) who with Maggie runs the Dragon FC in Bristol Fri @ the Bridge Inn, (Shortwood area).
Mike met Uncle Stan on many occasions and Stan gave this explanation:-
1) its a reference to the Pox
2)and is somewhat graphical on the stages of the diseases and its physical symptoms.
Ouch!


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: sophocleese
Date: 13 May 01 - 05:10 PM

They only had pox round Cape Horn? Whales had the Pox? It seems a little strange..But I'm enjoying the speculations. I wondered if it might have anything to do with the red roses of Lancashire. Just a thought, what seaports does Lancashire have, I don't have an atlas in the house.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Snuffy
Date: 13 May 01 - 06:34 PM

Liverpool


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: toadfrog
Date: 13 May 01 - 06:43 PM

I could, of course be wrong. I had heard, "blood red roses" at the time of the Napoleonic Wars was what Frenchmen called British soldiers. I also think I saw the expression somewhere in a broadside about the Battle of Belle Alliance (or Waterloo, as the English have it). Of course, that doesn't explain how it would get into a 'horner. If anyone knows, I would welcome correction.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 13 May 01 - 07:02 PM

Do any of you know who invented the crosscut saw, or the chisel, or "C"clamps, Huh? I use them all the time in my work and don't give a damn where or how they originated. The same goes for the Chantey "Blood Red Roses". It's a very usefull tool in my "Professional Chanteyman" occupation for sweating up topsail yards, which is probably the heaviest halyard operation on a sailing vessel. As for the lyrics, The words to the verses are completely unimportant. The form and rhythm (or lack thereof) is all important.

As for song lyrics and which one is the authentic one. That too is a pointless argument. Take "Greenland Whale Fisheries" for example. The date of composition is right there in the song. Which version is the authentic one? There's no doubt in my mind that this song improved remarkably as the years rolled on. I pretty much sing the 1863 version. THIS IMPROVEMENT BY SUBSEQUENT SINGERS OR AUTHORS IS CALLED "THE FOLK PROCESS". POersonally, I don't believe that there is a "proper or authentic" version of a folk song. So you Folk music purists (folk music fascists?) have fun arguing about which vrsion is the real one. I DON'T CARE.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Shields Folk
Date: 13 May 01 - 07:13 PM

the professionals didn't fart about playing at sailors. And its there lives and loves and songs I'm interested in not yours


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 13 May 01 - 07:20 PM

Just to change the subject, Sung properly, Row Bullies Row is an excellent chantey for synchronizing the stroke where multiple oarsmen are in use. But even if you don't use it for that. Take this into consideration. Do any of you dance the "Waltz"? This song is (you all must agree) written in 3/4 or waltz time. Right? Well "Choose your partners" for the waltz and take notice of where the second verse starts in the Waltz step? It's not the same place is it? O.k some of you use it as a capstan chantey. I don't know why with all those "Darling" capstan chanteys around . But, I accept the fact that you do. Now, take note of how the second verse starts. IT'S NOT ON THE "PUSH" STROKE, IS IT? As for pumping, any rhythm will do, I guess.

Fact: "Liverpool Judies" is a generic term for "contrary wind" as well as "Ladies of the night". So don't you think that "Row" and "Liverpool Judies" just might have something to do with the use that this chantey is put to? or are you going to ignore the obvious in order to continue singing this song to the wrong kind of rhythm and meter?. It occures to me that "Contrary Wind" and "Rowing" means that the crew is involved in "Kedging", wouldn't that make some kind of sense? As I said previously, find a rowboat, get in it and row around while singing "Row Bullies Row" without the long ROOO....................w row bullies row. and just keep a steady rhythm. That should make a believer out of you.

If any of you happen to be in Newport, give me a call and I'll take you for a row around the harbor. I'm in the phone book.

? Think about it. Jody Gibson


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 13 May 01 - 07:21 PM

DON'T TRUST EXPERTS, THINK FOR YOURSELVES (and that goes for my expertise also)


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: Shields Folk
Date: 13 May 01 - 07:30 PM

Sorry for the cranky coment yank but the days of sail are really lost in time. You may come as close as any of us are likely to get but what people believed in the 19th century and beyond are lost to us. How many times have you left port with your family not knowing if they will ever hear from you again.These songs are a very dirty window into the past.


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Subject: RE: Blood Red Roses
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 13 May 01 - 07:49 PM

Hey, Shield Folk, what makes you think that "Professional Chanteyman" or Professional Sailor" are things of the past? I not only was "HMS" Rose's first Boatswain, and chanteyman, but my wife and I rigged it when it was brand new, in Lunenburg Nova Scotia. Think about it. Oh, in case you'r going to say that Chanteys were never used on warships, you're absolutely right. Rose is not a warship, it has a U.S. commercial ticket and is manned by a civilian crew. it is a REPLICA of an 18th century 20 gun ship, (6th rate) and has never been used in combat, and has never fired anything heavier than a cork from it's cannons.


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