mudcat.org: South Australia:What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4]


South Australia:What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?

DigiTrad:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA


Related threads:
ADD Versions: South Australia (10)
(origins) Origins: South Australia - copyright? (33)


Gibb Sahib 16 Jan 21 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 15 Jan 21 - 01:51 PM
Lighter 15 Jan 21 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 14 Jan 21 - 09:34 PM
GUEST,CJB666 14 Jan 21 - 07:33 PM
GUEST,torzsmokus 13 Jan 21 - 10:49 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Sep 20 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,NC Music Teacher 22 Sep 20 - 01:30 AM
SPB-Cooperator 10 Dec 18 - 11:18 AM
Lighter 29 Mar 15 - 11:13 AM
Gurney 18 Mar 15 - 04:04 PM
Lighter 18 Mar 15 - 10:45 AM
GUEST,J M Anderson 18 Mar 15 - 09:12 AM
bubblyrat 09 Mar 15 - 07:30 AM
Gurney 08 Mar 15 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Dulci 07 Mar 15 - 05:41 PM
Mysha 22 Oct 12 - 02:20 PM
akenaton 18 Oct 12 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,chief flying owl 17 Oct 12 - 10:56 AM
AKS 03 Oct 11 - 04:13 AM
Gibb Sahib 26 Sep 11 - 05:28 AM
Gibb Sahib 25 Aug 11 - 02:50 AM
Gibb Sahib 25 Aug 11 - 02:32 AM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Aug 11 - 06:36 PM
meself 22 Aug 11 - 05:51 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Aug 11 - 05:02 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Aug 11 - 04:44 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Aug 11 - 04:12 PM
Snuffy 22 Aug 11 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Aug 11 - 10:21 AM
Snuffy 22 Aug 11 - 09:08 AM
Jim Carroll 22 Aug 11 - 06:17 AM
Gibb Sahib 21 Aug 11 - 06:32 PM
ripov 21 Aug 11 - 12:18 PM
gnu 21 Aug 11 - 10:57 AM
Lighter 21 Aug 11 - 09:36 AM
Gibb Sahib 21 Aug 11 - 03:38 AM
Snuffy 20 Aug 11 - 01:19 PM
Gibb Sahib 19 Aug 11 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Russell Slye 19 Aug 11 - 12:26 PM
Gibb Sahib 03 Aug 11 - 03:36 AM
Gibb Sahib 03 Aug 11 - 02:50 AM
Gibb Sahib 03 Aug 11 - 02:02 AM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 10:23 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 09:08 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 08:53 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 08:44 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 08:15 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 08:09 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 07:51 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: RE: South Australia:What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 16 Jan 21 - 08:05 AM

J.S. Scott (Carpenter Collection) seems to have perhaps sung "Darling fellow." I really like "darling" (or something else) as a possibility of an earlier/original word from which "rolling" could have morphed.

This is in line with my own belief that the song is on the template of something from the American South (in posts above from 2011). The "original," I conjecture, was about being born in Alabamy or South Virginny, etc. Country/minstrel music was all about the rhyme of "born" with "corn"! And this tune is as "down home" as they get.

Though, like Lighter says, at some point, it didn't really matter anymore.

I don't care that much, as as long as people put the exertion of "-way" (of "away") and not on "heave"!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: South Australia:What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 15 Jan 21 - 01:51 PM

Lighter:
18 Mar 15 - 10:45 AM: If anyone has found such an example outside of this shanty - and preferable before the 1950s - please, please post.

15 Jan 21 - 07:12 AM: "Claudy Banks" or not, "rolling king" is a combination of words with no single...

Some folks...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: South Australia:What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Jan 21 - 07:12 AM

"Claudy Banks" or not, "rolling king" is a combination of words with no single, widely recognized or accepted meaning.

To put it another way, it means to anyone whatever the hell they want it to mean.

Not what someone else wants it to mean.

Once it was established in the chantey as a cliche', we have no idea what sailors in general thought it meant - assuming they even thought about it, which I believe they would have considered a damned waste of time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: South Australia:What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 14 Jan 21 - 09:34 PM

Question within a question: Lyr Add: Claudy Banks/Where are the Claudy Banks?

I'll have to post the rest of this version over there. 3rd verse:

If Johnny he was here to-night he'd keep me from all harm;
He's in the field of battle all in his uniform.
He's in the field of battle, and his foes he does defy,
Like the rolling king of honor, going to the wars of Troy.
Bould Sarsfield was not braver when Erin he did guard,
And when the war is over, his king will him reward;
He's crossing the main ocean for honor and for fame.
No, no, fair maid, his ship was wrecked going by the coast of Spain.
[The Banks of Clody [sic], The Universal Irish Song Book, 1898, p.70]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: South Australia:What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,CJB666
Date: 14 Jan 21 - 07:33 PM

Having survived a number of force 9 / 10 storms in the North Sea and English Channel crewing tall ships, as well as nearly being run aground off Portland in a severe storm on the HM Bark Endeavour I appreciate the concept of a 'rolling king.' He would be quite simply a seasoned and accomplished sailor who had his sea legs on a rolling deck and could still work the ropes incl. climbing aloft to hand sail during a severe storm. And in the old days that would be without a harness or any safety lines. Any and indeed all sailors would be expected to be able to work the ropes and keep their footing on the rolling decks of a ship in a storm, &/or climb aloft onto the high yards to bring in or let out sail. If they did do so in those harsh conditions then they would be regarded as 'kings' of their environment by their ship mates. Watch the film of the Peking rounding Cape Horn to see how bad conditions at sea on the old windjammers could be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: South Australia:What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,torzsmokus
Date: 13 Jan 21 - 10:49 AM

Someone mentioned Celts
In Irish Gaelic, Dreoiln [pronounced drawleen ~ drollin] means wren, and is the king of the birds.
Could this be about a Wren (Dreoiln) King?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: South Australia:What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 08:36 PM

I love a thread that wanders around all over the place, and gets back on the original subject.And keeps on keeping on.

Even if whatever whoever came up with the line originally might have had in mind, in practice it'd be pretty inevitable that the sailors doing the heaving and the hauling would have taken it as referring to them, and the shantyman would have meant it that way.

Calling sailors Kings of the rolling sea had the same kind of logic as calling a tramp a "King of the Road" - and as with could be taken or intended either way, directly or ironically.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: South Australia:What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,NC Music Teacher
Date: 22 Sep 20 - 01:30 AM

Might a "rolling king" have been someone who was skilled at rolling timbers or large logs, such as those that would have been loaded on ships for export? The very dangerous but lucrative logging industry was thriving in Southern Australia in the late 1800's when this sailor's shanty was written.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: South Australia:What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 10 Dec 18 - 11:18 AM

Does that
mean that the shantyman was referring to his flat-screen TV?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 11:13 AM

Robert W. Gordon collected a brief version in California ca1923 that has "Heave away-ay, we'll roll and go!" Gordon says elsewhere that all of his seafaring informants had been to sea in the '60s and '70s.

So either "rolling/ ruling/ ruler king" were misinterpretations of "roll and go" (which seems unlikely to me), or else "rolling/ ruling/ ruler king" was as meaningless to at least some chanteymen as it to us, and they replaced it with a reasonable facsimile.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gurney
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 04:04 PM

But Lighter, is that then about tinned beef of offensive behaviour?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 10:45 AM

Give it up, guys.

If "rolling king" had any established meaning, there'd be real evidence for it - examples of usage in the billions and billions of words available in books and newspapers online.

But there's nothing.

If anyone has found such an example outside of this shanty - and preferable before the 1950s - please, please post.

Versions from old sailors and in early collections have "my bully, bully boys," not "you rolling kings."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,J M Anderson
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 09:12 AM

Going back to the possibility of an Indian connection, what about T S Eliot's line:

"Oh you who turn the wheel and look to windward"?

(And while we're at it, what about Iain M Banks?)

The Waste Land is influenced by Hindu/Buddhist concepts (such cultures not known as being great seafarers), but this section (Death by Water) refers to one Phlebas the Phoenician, a sailor, and is in fact a rehash in English of the conclusion to one of Eliot's earlier poems, originally in French (as if there wasn't enough confusion here already).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 09 Mar 15 - 07:30 AM

You are ALL wrong !! It is,in fact, a tribute to the ship's cook and his skill at making pastry , and is a corruption of "He 've a way with rolling pin " ,which I would have thought was obvious.Well, SOMEBODY has to make the oggies for "Nine O,Clockers" !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gurney
Date: 08 Mar 15 - 03:28 PM

Roller kings.
Rollers are what they call the lumpy bits in the sea.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Dulci
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 05:41 PM

I agree with Amos and BillR that calling the the sailors who are being told to heave and haul "rolling kings" gives respect from the one giving the orders to those following the orders. After all they are all in the same boat with a long trip ahead. Might as well give dignity and respect to every job.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Mysha
Date: 22 Oct 12 - 02:20 PM

Hi,

I was at Liereliet in Workum this weekend, and Jim Mageean and Graeme Knights sung South Australia there. So I asked their interpretation.

They know about it possibly being "ruler king" instead, but as they have it, they interpret it as a "roller king". The "roller" being the long wave of the ocean, and the "king" being exceptionally high. They hadn't heard it expressed quite like that, but they had actually heard used "the king roller", as the indication of the well-known seventh wave, higher than the six before it.

Bye,
                                                                  Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: akenaton
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 07:40 AM

Rollin' king?......"king" of the sea.....seemples!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,chief flying owl
Date: 17 Oct 12 - 10:56 AM

I think Wincing Devil gives us the answer to his own original question. The original lyric seems to be "you ruler kings" which got shifted to "rolling kings." But "ruler king" would be a nickname for Old Nick, based on a typical poetic shortening of Ephesians 2:2 -- "ruler of the kingdom of the air." Haul away you ruler kings! -- as sailors would affectionately call each other.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: AKS
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 04:13 AM

And " a slight drift but yet " here's how bark "Ahkera" (= 'diligent, hard-working'), mentioned in GS's post on 04 Apr 11, looked like. Someone might notice that she sails under the Russian tricolor; yes, Grand Duchy of Finland was part of Russia in the 19th century...

AKS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 05:28 AM

Just for interest's sake, here's a concert music arrangement of "South Australia" by Stephen Leek. Sounds like he utilized the "Rise Up Singing" style in the beginning, but then, notably, he tried his hand at matching L.A. Smith's text to her melody -- with some odd emphases.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCpIMChCTXQ

It's sounds like at one point they sing something like, "Wish I was on that strand/ with a glass of Foster's in my hand." Pretty silly. But I bet the kids like it...at least it helps them square it as a "fun beer-drinking aussy folk song"!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 02:50 AM

I was mistaken in what I said in the last post. All these glee club versions are titled "Australia."

There are other glee club arrangements that predate the Harvard one.

Amherst College's song book of 1916 has,

//
Australia

Australian booze is very fine booze,
Heave away, heave away.
It fills you tighter than a new pair of shoes
Heave away, heave away.

Heave away my jolly boys,
Heave away, heave away,
Heave away, and don't you make a noise,
For I'm bound for ["Where?" - shouted] Australia.
//

This is followed by a parody verse about Smith College girls with "false curls," and Mt. Holyoke.

http://books.google.com/books?id=H7QQAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA76&dq=%22heave+away%22+austra

Brown University's book from 1908 had this:

//
Australia.

Australia, my lads, is a very fine place,
Heave away, heave away,
To be bound for Australia is surely no disgrace,
We're bound for Australia

Heave away, my Brownie boys,
Heave away, heave away,
Heave away, And don't you make a noise,
For we're bound for Australia.

The Cape Cod girls don't use any combs,
They comb their hair with a codfish bone,
//

http://books.google.com/books?id=VbUQAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA35&dq=%22heave%22+australia+s


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 02:32 AM

Some more data on the song.

Evidently this song, under the title of "Heave Away," was popular as a "glee club" sort of item with college groups. These perhaps resemble what we know as "Cape Cod Girls" a bit more, but I question to what extent "Cape Cod Girls" and "South Australia" were two distinct songs (i.e. which may appear more distinct to us nowadays under the influence of certain presenters/writers).

We've already seen one of these, above, with the 1916 Harvard Clubs songbook. Here are others.

_The Harvard Song Book_ of the Harvard Glee Club (1913, 1922) has the same version (text), but this time there is a musical score to show how it was sung!

http://books.google.com/books?id=hXUWAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA91&dq=%22heave%22+australia+s

The solo parts are of a disjointed sort, more like "Cape Cod Girls" at it is known today, but the chorus melody is more like the familiar "South Australia," I think. The main melody is in the upper bass part.

This arrangement, it says, was by Frank R Hancock, class of 1912. The copyright is 1913, Lloyd Adams Noble (the compiler of the book).

Ohio State University borrowed the arrangement in their 1916 collection.

cont...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 06:36 PM

A reminder that "Maui" was discussed at length a few years back here:

thread.cfm?threadid=33324#1701782

I've found nothing new since then. Not that I haven't been looking.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: meself
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 05:51 PM

One wonders in passing why music "strictly classical" would be understood to be particularly appropriate to a 'canoeing' association - doesn't one?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 05:02 PM

1892        Unknown. “The A.C.A. Meet of 1892.” Forest and Stream 39(10) (8 Sept., 1892). Pg. 212.

Some more details of the 1892 ACA meeting at which “South Australia” was popularized.

The meeting was at Willsborough Point, Lake Champlain. The following passage gives details of one time during the meeting when they sang the song.

//
One of the most lively and animated scenes of the meet was the striking tents, packing duffle and loading all on the flat scow which was dubbed "Gloriana," when used for the same purpose last year…The "Gloriana" was poled from place to place along the beach, at each stop a motley crowd of smugglers, half in camp costume and half in "store clothes," marched down from the deserted tent-site, carrying canoes, trunks, bags, chests, sails and all sorts of odd packages, more or less contraband in appearance. The handbarrows, built by tbe camp carpenter, were most convenient in carrying boxes and bundles. The loading was done by the canoeists, all hands turning to, the boats and heavy stuff going aboard to the good old shanty,

"Heave away, my bully boys, 
   
   Heave away, heave away. 

Heave away, and don't make a noise" 
   
   We're bound for Australia."
//

This version from JR Lake is notable for its "make a noise" in the chorus (only seen once so far, above), though "don't make a noise" sounds odd in a sailor song. Perhaps they mean "don't complain." In the place where "ruling/rolling king" would go, there is "bully boys"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 04:44 PM

The following gives some context as to why "South Australia" ended up in the 1894 Yearbook of the American Canoe Association.

1892        Unknown. “Canoeing.” _Forest and Stream_ 39 (1 Sept., 1892). Pg. 188.

Citing the introduction of [SOUTH AUSTRALIA] at a meet of the American Canoeing Association in 1892. James R Lake introduced this “shanty song,” which thenceforth became popular in outdooring circles, it seems. The passage also notes that a Dr. Nekle (? The spelling is unclear to me) introduced the “shanty” “Rolling Down from [sic] Old Mohee” in 1885!

//
One of the pleasant features of the meet has been the abundance of music, not strictly classical, perhaps, but none the less appropriate. The three cornets made lively music, not only at "colors'' and "taps" and for marching, but at the camp fire…

The A. C. A. meets have been remarkable for tbe odd and attractive songs which have come in from year to year, same being undeservedly forgotten. In 1884 there were the two French Canadian songs, "Alouette" and "Boule Roulant," both very taking airs; also tbe old catch, "Hop Along, Sister Mary." A year later Dr. Nekle [sp?] brought to camp a shanty song of more than usual merit, "Rolling Down from Old Mohee," which has since been forgotten, though deserving of preservation. A favorite song in 1886 was "Ring, ring the Banjo," sung by Mr. Andrews, of the Rochester C. C. In 1888 Mr. Lundberg, of the Mohicans, came to Lake George and captured the camp with bis magnificent voice and the charming song "Necken." The Jessup's Neck meet of 1889 will long be remembered for its famous "Coon Band" of three darkies with their "Watermelon Growing on the Vine," still a universal favorite in camp, as well as for the popular "Cock Robin."

The present meet has brought out more music than usual. Mr. Howard Gray, of the Vespers, has helped out every camp fire with some good comic songs; Mr. Moffatt, of the Yonkcrs C. C, has sung a number of ballads, though his taste for comic songs has for some reason declined since 1890, and the "Wall of Toe" was not heard once, though often demanded; Mr. J. R. Lake, of the New York C. C. brought to camp a rousing shanty song, "Bound for Australia," which bas been sung, hummed and whistled everywhere, lending good aid in all the camp work…
//

http://books.google.com/books?id=T0IhAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA188&dq=bound+australia+song&h


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 04:12 PM

More data for the history of this song.

1894        Douglass, George P., ed. “Heave Away!” Yearbook (American Canoe Association). Newark, NJ: The Holbrook Printing Company.

This text of a song, evidently recently popular among outdoorsmen, was published on a dedicated page in this publicationof the American Canoe Association.

Pg78

“HEAVE AWAY!”

AS SUNG BY JAS. R. LAKE.

Australia, my lads, is a very fine place,
   Heave away! heave away!
And to go to South Australia, lads, is surely no disgrace,
   We 're bound for Australia.
Cho. -- Heave away! my bully boys,
    Heave away! heave away!
Heave away, and don't make a noise, 
   
   We 're bound for Australia.

In rain and hail and frost and snow,
   Heave away! heave away!
It's up aloft poor Jack must go,
   We're bound for Australia.
Cho."Heave away, my bully boys, etc.

Oh, my dear mother she wrote to me,
    Heave away! heave away! 

Oh, my dear Jack, come home from sea,
   We 're bound for Australia.
Cho."Heave away, my bully boys, etc.

And if ever I once set foot on shore,
    Heave away! heave away!
I 'll never go to sea anymore,
    We 're bound for Australia.
Cho."Heave away! my bully boys, etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Snuffy
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 03:30 PM

Another bit of FWIW thread creep - Carpenter's biographical notes for Scott state:

First ship Nova Scotia brigantine, Maitland, Nova Scotia, 1863; last Clann Graham, Glasgow, 1903 (p.00395)

I reckon the odds are that Maitland is where the brigantine was built, not its name. But this might well be Scott's Clann Graham, Glasgow, 1903


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 10:21 AM

FWIW - nothing - Scott's "South Australia" doesn't appear in Carpenter's 1928 dissertation in any form.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Snuffy
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 09:08 AM

Hi Gibb,

The Carpenter Collection contains a bewildering array of handwritten and typewritten lyrics and other (biographical etc) information, music notation and recordings, and the information given by the online index is insufficient to establish whether items are contemporaneous or from different dates.

I recall reading somewhere that Carpenter would normally only record a verse or two, but would write down or type up a fuller text. This seems to be borne out by this message from the late Malcolm Douglas about William Fender's version of Fire Down Below, where another 9 solo lines/verses are added to the three in the recording. A similar thing could have happened with South Australia, but until we can view the texts, all we can do is conjecture on the extent of their inter-relatedness.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 06:17 AM

I'm sure th answer is here somewhere
From 'The Sailors' Word Book a classic source for 14,000 nautical and naval terms' by Admiral W.H. Smyth - London 1867
Jim Carroll

ROLLER. A mighty oceanic swell said to precurse the northers of the Atlantic, and felt in great violence at Tristan d'Acunha, where H.M.S. Lily foundered with all hands in consequence, and several vessels at St. Helena have been driven from their anchors and wrecked. These waves roll in from the north, and do not break till they reach soundings, when they evince terrific power, rising from 5 to 15 feet above the usual level of the waters.    A connection with volcanoes has been suggested as a cause.

ROLLERS. Cylindrical pieces of timber, fixed either horizontally or vertically in different parts of a ship above the deck, so as to revolve on an axis, and prevent the cables, hawsers, and running rigging from being chafed, by lessening their friction. The same as friction roller. Also, movable pieces of wood of the same figure, which are occasionally j^laced under boats, pieces of heavy timber, &c.

ROLLING. That oscillatory motion by which the waves rock a ship from side to side. The larger part of this disturbance is owing to the depth of the centre of gravity below the centre of figure, the former exercising a violent re-action when disturbed from its rest by passing seas; therefore it is diminished by raising the weights, and must by no means be confounded with heeling.

ROLLING-CHOCK, OR JAW-PIECE. Similar to that of a gaff, fastened to the middle of an upper yard, to steady it.

ROLLING-CLEAT.    Synonymous with rolling-chock.

ROLLING DOWN TO ST. HELENA. Running with a flowing sheet by the trade-wind.

ROLLING-HITCH. Pass the end of a rope round a spar or rope; take it round a second time, riding the standing part; then cany it across, and up through the bight.

ROLLING-SWELL. That heaving of the sea where the waves are very distant, forming deep troughs between.

ROLLING-TACKLES. Used to prevent the yards from swaying to and fro under heavy rolling motion.

ROLL UP A SAIL, To.    To hand it quickly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 06:32 PM

Hi Snuffy and Lighter,

I know you guys are among the regular posters here that have done the most hard work deciphering these cylinder recordings. So.. What do you make of the "South Australia" transcription by Carpenter, ascribed to JS Scott, that is is logged in the Carpenter Collection on-line (presumably by Bob Walser)? The first line is evidently, "Don't you hear what the Captain say," and there are 6 stanzas.

Carpenter Collection item, MS p. 03526

Do you think it belonged to another performance by Scott, or it was it perhaps an unrecorded stanza preceding you guys' five, or what?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: ripov
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 12:18 PM

Don't know about "Rolling Kings". Maybe a corruption of "Villikins", implying lovestruck youths? (Villikins and his Dinah 1850).

Walloping is interesting, derived from french "galoper" (to gallop) in its g>w form. Also meaning "boiling", as in "poultice-wallopers" (medical orderlies), this use appears to cease after wwII. Strange it should suddenly recur in the late 60's.
But "galloping round the Horn" - sounds reasonable, especially on those white horses (not six of them I hope!)
There is a related meaning of painting, particularly large surfaces, with whitewash, so perhaps the paint-roller allusion has some basis!

As to the "v" and "w" interchange in Cockney, the community has changed now, but from well before Dickens' period until about 1970 the population of the East End good description here contained many seamen, and traders, perhaps from countries whose languages (eg Polish), have no "v" sound, so they just did their best to pronounce it. (My friend's father owned a "Wauxhall" car) The "w" pronounced "v" is from those of German origin (Think "Bay-eM-Vay as J.S.Bach's musical catalogue numbers).(Or Villikins = Willikins = Little Willie).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: gnu
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 10:57 AM

I thought Bobert was The Rolling King.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 09:36 AM

I've listened several times now, with various equalizer settings, and I believe that Scott sings as follows,

Heave away, my lowlands so low
Heave away, heave away
Heave away, why don't you let us know?
For we're bound for South Australia

Oh, South Australier is the place for me
Heave away, heave away
We work for the money and we goes on the spree
And we're bound for South Australia

Heave away, my lowlands so low
Heave away, heave away
Heave away, why don't you let us know?
For we're bound for South Australia

That's a nice girl on Australia's shore
Heave away, heave away
I'm going round since I'll not going to sea any more [sic]
And we're bound for South Australia

Heave away, my lowlands so low
Heave away, heave away
Heave away, why don't you let us know?
For we're bound for South Australia


The "going round" line obviously needs extra beats. Scott sings it pretty smoothly, but I think he gets off on the wrong foot and stumbles while correcting himself.

If you've read Dickens, you may remember that some some of his Cockney characters pronounce "w" as "v." I've never heard that in real life - except in Scott's recordings. He does it all the time!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 03:38 AM

Thanks for the transcriptions, Snuffy!

Very interesting the lack of "king". And quite notable, I think, that the short refrains are emphasized as you say. That would mean that most documented versions -- perhaps all, in fact, except for Harlow's, which I think may have notation errors -- use the "heave a-WAY" pattern. The "feel" of that is quite different than the "HEAVE away" we've become accustomed to in Lloyd's beloved creation.


Baldwyn's line of "Among the fields of yellow corn" adds evidence to support my theory that the song was a parody of or otherwise inspired by some "downhome" (i.e. Southern U.S., minstrel-ish) song, where a typical floating verse rhymes "born" with "corn".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Snuffy
Date: 20 Aug 11 - 01:19 PM

The two Carpenter recordings have different tunes, but both put the stress on a-WAY, rather than HEAVE. And interestingly, neither of them have anything like a rolling/ruling king.

Rees Baldwin
Have you seen my Bowery queen
Haul away, heave away
Have you seen my Bowery queen
For we are bound for South Australia

Heave away, haul away
Heave away, haul away
For we are bound for South Australia

Way down south, where I was born
Heave away, haul away
Among the fields of yellow corn
For we are bound for South Australia

note that in verse 1 it is "Haul away, heave away", while in Verse 2 the order is reversed.
------------------------------------------

J S Scott

Heave away, my lowlands below
Heave away, heave away
Heave away, my [dirty loving Flo?]
Cos we're bound for South Australia

Oh South Australia is the place for me
Heave away, heave away
We [work?] all the money and we goes on the spree
And we're bound for South Australia

Heave away, my lowlands below
Heave away, heave away
Heave away, my [dirty loving Flo?]
Cos we're bound for South Australia

There's a nice [get in] on Australia's shore
Heave away, heave away
I'm not going to sea no more
And we're bound for South Australia

Heave away, my lowlands below
Heave away, heave away
Heave away, my [dirty loving Flo?]
Cos we're bound for South Australia

much of Scott's singing is very unclear, but it is definitely all heaving, and no hauling


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 01:51 PM

Russell, I don't care if the Australian sailor had verses of "South Australia" tattooed on his chest next to a picture of Miss Nancy Blair in a turtleneck sweater being "walloped" around Cape Vegemite. Either he was selling you a line of BS, he'd gone senile by that time, or someone's critical faculties were severely impaired by the "she-oak" at the bar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Russell Slye
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 12:26 PM

Gibb Sahib,
I'm sure you know more about the subject than the Austrailian sailor I talked to who was on the ship during the grain trade. Thanks for your insight.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 03:36 AM

There are more books that offer "South Australia," however I'm not sure how original those are. Also, by way of disclaimer, I have not heard the Carpenter or Gordon recordings, so I don't know their texts and tunes.

However -- Looking at the evidence and turning attention to the question in the title of this thread:

LA Smith had:
"Heave away, you ruler king,"

Hatfield:
"Hooray You're a lanky!", which I've suggested is a mondegreen of "hooray you ruling/rolling king." Verses include, "What makes you call me a ruler and king?/‘Cause I'm married to an Indian queen,"

Parrish:
"Haul away, I’m a rollin’ king"

Doerflinger:
"Heave away, you ruler king,"

Harlow:
"Heave away, you Ruler King,"

Baldwyn:
has verse, "Have you seen my bowery queen?"

Colcord:
"Heave away, you rolling king,"

It certainly doesn't provide any clear answer. If I may hazard an interpretation: "Ruler/ruling" seems to dominate. The only ones with "Rolling" are Parrish and Colcord. Colcord's I am suspicious of; I need to know more about how she obtained it and what she *might* have inferred, since it is not a strictly field-collected version. That leaves Parrish's Georgia Islands singers. They are the only ones to make the phrase "I'm a..." rather than "you..." This somewhat limits the meaning of the phrase "rolling king." My instinct tells me that this version is more likely to have been a mondegreen.


Additional note:
Doerflinger's is the only source I've seen to use, the chorus with
"Heave away, don’t you hear me sing?" It is a distinct chorus form.

I know AL Lloyd's source is a mystery (?). However, if it was not based in an oral source, it looks most likely it was based (chorus and tune) off Doerflinger's book. It has the "hear me sing," and, if one does not read the very convoluted notation meticulously, one can get the tune he used.

BTW, Lloyd sang "lollop around Cape Horn." The Clancys in 1962 probably introduced "wallop".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 02:50 AM

Hugill's main text presentation of "South Australia," compared with LA Smith's and Colcord's.

1. South Australia is me home,
Heave away! Heave away!
South Australia is me home,
An' we're [I'm] bound for South Australia!
Heave away! Heave away!
Heave away you Rolling King [Ruler King]
An' we're [I'm] bound for South Australia!


Colcord had:
South Australia is my home,
Heave away, heave away!
South Australia is my home,
I'm bound for South Australia!
Heave away, heave away,
Heave away, you rolling king,
I'm bound for South Australia!

2. My wife is standin' on the quay,
The tears do start as she waves to me,


Colcord had:
My wife is standing on the quay;
The tears do start as she waves to me.

Smith had:
I see my wife standing on the quay,
The tears do start as she waves to me.

3. An' when I'm on a foreign shore,
I'll think o' me darlin' that I adore.


Smith had:
When I am on a foreign shore,
I'll think of the wife that I adore.

4. There ain't but one thing grieves me mind,
To leave my wife an' child behind.


Colcord had:
There ain't but the one thing grieves my mind,
To leave my wife and child behind.

Smith had:
There ain't but the one thing grieves my mind,
To leave my dear wife and child behind.

5. There ain't but one thing griev-es me
An' that's me wife an' dear ba-bee.


A Hugill original. IMO the "griev-es me" sounds a bit funky.

6. An' as I stand on a foreign shore,
I'll drink to the wife that I adore.


Smith had:
As I am standing on a foreign shore,
I'll drink to the girl that I adore.

7. Now I'm on a foreign strand,
With a glass o' pisco [samshu, sakee, vino, etc.] in me hand.


Smith had:
And now I am on a foreign strand,
With a glass of whisky in my hand;

8. I'll drink a glass to my own shore,
I'll drink to the gal that I adore.


Smith had:
And I'll drink a glass to the foreign shore,
And one to the girl that I adore.

9. I'll tell ye now, it ain't no lie,
I'll love that gal until I die


Smith had:
For I'll tell you the truth, and I'll tell you no lie,
If I don't love that girl I hope I may die.

10. This cross ye see at the bottom of the line,
Is only to keep ye in my mind.


Smith had:
Those crosses you see at the bottom of the lines,
Are only to put me in mind.

11. Now we're homeward bound again,
I'll soon he seeing Sarah Jane.


Smith had:
When I am homeward bound again,
My name I'll publish on the main.

Seeing his dislike of 'main', Hugill made up a new rhyme for this one.

12. Oh, fare-ye-well, now fare-ye-well,
Oh, fare-ye-well, I wish ye well.


Colcord had:
Now fare you well and fare you well;
Now fare you well, I wish you well.

So, one can see that Hugill's presentation comes from Smith and Colcord (also probably influenced by Smith).

It quite possible, then, that Hugill did not have his own formed idea of the song until he adopted the recorded Revival version, e.g. Lloyd and MacColl on 1960's "Blow Boys Blow."

I might add that I do love Hugill's singing of the song. And as he "lived" with it, he put on his own touches. All that I am saying here is that while his presentation may be informative for the novice, it does not provide us with any historical information.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 02:02 AM

Colcord. I need to look at this again (don't have the book with me), but I seem to remember the tune was like (?but how alike?) Smith's. Here's the text:

South Australia is my home,
Heave away, heave away!
South Australia is my home,
I'm bound for South Australia!

Heave away, heave away, Heave away, you rolling king,
I'm bound for South Australia!

There ain't but the one thing grieves my mind,
To leave my wife and child behind.

My wife is standing on the quay;
The tears do start as she waves to me.

Now fare you well and fare you well;
Now fare you well, I wish you well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 10:23 PM

Hugill, Shanties from the Seven Seas, 1961.

Hugill's presentation is a mish-mash of things he'd read and jumping to vague conclusions.

He does not say where he learned it from, leaving us to speculate. I can say that he typically *does* tell where he learned a song from, if from a human source. *Sometimes*, I suppose, he doesn't say that because the chanty is just so common (eg Rio Grande) that one would assume everyone sang it. IMO that assumption can't be made about "South Australia." We've seen that it was relatively infrequently noted.

The material that Hugill presents does more to suggest he *may* not have been familiar with the song. He reprints Harlow's very ad-libby text, from which I think he draws the ideas that "This was a shanty which had a rather poor regulation pattern and all shantymen had to improvise to make it see the job through." And he reprints Laurie's (Doerflinger) tune, though he does not comment on how different it is from his own (I assume he never heard the tune, since he didn't read music and likely did not hear the recording).

Hugill did not have access to Hatfield's work at this time, so the only other presentation he had access to was LA Smith's, which he critiques as follows:

"Miss L.A. Smith's rhyming lines are rather too sentimental and 'shore-ified' to ring genuine. She makes too much use of the word 'main', a word sailors never used for 'sea'."

In fact, she only used the word 'main' once, and at least she told her source, a Black sailor at the Sailors' Home. Perhaps she did tweak a few words.

The irony is that Hugill's main presentation of this reads like something he made at the time of publication that was based off of Smith's presentation. The other collected versions of "South Australia" give no indication that the verses were consistent enough (and Hugill even says himself that they weren't!) such that his verses could just happen to be similar. No, he used them as a base and "fixed" them according to what he thought would be more authentic language. A comparison of lyrics will follow in another post.

Hugill's tune (in the book) is of the Smith and Harlow family, but with some differences. Though it's hard to say with Hugill's tunes (often mis-transcribed), these small differences are the best evidence I can find to support (i.e. from the text alone) that Hugill had an independent, orally-learned version.

However, ironically again, that is undermined by the fact that on his live recordings, Hugill is not singing the tune presented in his book. He is singing what I understand to be the revival tune popularized by Lloyd et. al.

In this I conclude that nothing Hugill wrote about the song can be taken as authoritative.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 09:08 PM

1938         Colcord, Joanna C. Songs of American Sailormen. New York: Norton.

The Codfish Shanty

Glo'ster girls they have no combs,
Heave away, heave away!
They comb their hair with codfish bones,
We're bound for South Australia.

Heave away, my bully bully boys,
Heave away, heave away!
Heave away, why don't you make a noise?
We're bound for South Australia.

Glo'ster boys they have no sleds,
Heave away, heave away!
They slide down hill on codfish heads.
We're bound for South Australia.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 08:53 PM

1916[May]        Associated Harvard Clubs. _Book of Songs_. Chicago: Lakeside Press.

Collected Songbook for the university. Contains an adaptation of CAPE COD GIRLS form. This would be the "Australia" referred to in the last reference. No tune given here, so it must have been well known.

(There seems to be an imitation of military band percussion, as if this had been used as a marching song perhaps.)


AUSTRALIA

BR-R-ROOM, poom, poom, poom, POOM, poom, poom, poomp, yi-di, yi-di, yi-di, yi-di, yum, poomp, _poomp_, poomp, _poomp_, poomp, _poomp_.
Australia is a very find [sic] place,
Heave away! Heave away!
To come from there is no disgrace,
Heave away! Heave away! Heave away! My bonny, bonny boys,
Heave away! Heave away! Heave away! My bonny, bonny boys,
We’re off for Australia.

BR-R-ROOM, poom, poom, poom, POOM, poom, poom, poomp, yi-di, yi-di, yi-di, yi-di, yum, poomp, _poomp_, poomp, _poomp_, poomp, _poomp_.

Australian girls are very fine girls,
Keep away! Keep away!
With codfish bones they comb their curls,
Keep away! Keep away! Keep away! My bonny, bonny boys,
Keep away! Keep away! Keep away! My bonny, bonny boys,
We’re off for Australia.

BR-R-ROOM, poom, poom, poom, POOM, poom, poom, poomp, yi-di, yi-di, yi-di, yi-di, yum, poomp, _poomp_, poomp, _poomp_, poomp, _poomp_.

Australian booze is very fine booze,
Keep away! Keep away!
‘Twill make you as tight as a new pair of shoes,
Keep away! Keep away! Keep away! My bonny, bonny boys,
Keep away! Keep away! Keep away! My bonny, bonny boys,
We’re off for Australia.

BR-R-ROOM, poom, poom, poom, POOM, poom, poom, poomp, yi-di, di-di, yi-di, yi-di, yum, POOMP.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 08:44 PM

1911        Morrison, K.E. “For a Scout’s Honor.” Boys’ Life 1(4) (June 1911).

A Play in Four Acts, Presented by Troop 2, Norwich, Conn., Boy Scouts of America.

In the middle of the play, the scouts are instructed to sing a specially arranged medley.

It is indicated that it should be sung to the tune of “Australia”. It seems like the CAPE COD GIRLS form -- closely related to what we call "South Australia":

Old Norwich City is a great old town.
(Chorus) Heave away! Heave away!
With its streets and alleys up and down.
(Chorus) Heave away! Heave away!
(All) Heave away, my bonny, bonny boys. Heave away; Heave away. Heave away, my bonnie, bonnie boys. We’re out in the country…


This suggest that "South Australia" was a popular song "in the air" by that time.

Note that what is now conceived of as a separate "Cape Cod Girls" form has its "heave away" emphasized "heave aWAY."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 08:15 PM

I've edited the following excerpt of a note from Lighter on the Gordon collection, from elsewhere.

Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST,Lighter - PM
Date: 22 Feb 11 - 08:39 PM

In 1922-23, Robert W. Gordon recorded a number of shanties and forebitters from retired sailors in the San Francisco Bay area. His understanding was that all the singers had formed their repertoires before 1880. ...

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress transferred the wax cylinders to tape in the 1970s.


One of the recorded items is "South Australia."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 08:09 PM

Carpenter Collection:

Reece Baldwyn of Wales (sea service dates 1879-1908) sang 2 stanzas in 1929, starting,

Have you seen my bowery queen?

This was issued on Folktrax.

J.S. Scott of London (sailed 1863-?) sang 6 stanzas in 1929, starting

Don't you hear what the Captain say

For those who heard either recording: are they discernible? Can you comment on the tunes -- perhaps specifically on their emphases?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 07:51 PM

1962        Harlow, Frederick Pease. _Chanteying Aboard American Ships_. Barre, Mass.: Barre Publishing Co.

Supposed to have been heard aboard the AKBAR, 1875/76. It was sung off Melbourne by "Dave" at the windlass, who,

...could hardly wait for the order to Heave away," before he started the home chantey that he had prepared and taught the other members of the crew the day before...."


South Australia is my native land.
Heave away! Heave away!
Mountains rich in quartz and sand.
I am bound for South Australia.
Heave away! Heave away!
Heave away, you Ruler King,
I am bound for South Australia.
...


It continues with many incidental verses not adopted elsewhere.

The music given compares well with the tune in LA Smith. One might expect all the tunes to be quite similar, however, Laurie's (Doerflinger) and Hatfield's are similar, whereas Smith's and Harlow's represent a different style. Note that Harlow did read Smith. His lyrics are completely independent of hers, but perhaps after all those years he needed some help remembering the tune? Also note that Harlow's tune notation has something a bit "off" about it rhythmically, like some error in barring was made, and some emphases have been shifted. So, though the *contour* of Harlow's melody is very close to Smith's, the emphasis here is like "HEAVE away."

Interesting that the chantyman in Harlow's description had to teach the song to the crew. Perhaps it was relatively new, in ca.1876. All of the other accounts (so far listed) are by people who would not have been in a position to hear the song until after 1875, so this may be the case.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 January 7:44 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright 1998 by the Mudcat Caf Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.