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Cowell Collection Shanties

23 Mar 11 - 01:46 PM (#3119900)
Subject: Cowell Collection Shaniies
From: shipcmo

Captain Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, and Leighton McKenzie
Collected by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California. 1939

A - roodle - tum - toodle - tum - too

Away Rio

Good Bye Fare You Well

Hanging Johnny

Poor Old Man

Roll the Cotton Down

Rolling Home

Sailor's Alphabet

Sally Brown

Whiskey Johnny


Warde Ford,
Recorded by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Central Valley, California. 1938

Lowlands Low


See also: Click here


24 Mar 11 - 09:15 AM (#3120371)
Subject: RE: Cowell Collection Shaniies
From: Lighter

On some other thread I observed that the melody of "A-Roodle-Tum-Toodle-Tum-Too" is startlingly like that of the WWII hit "Bless 'em All!"

It may have given rise to the claim (reported by Ray Palmer) that the latter song was known in the 1890s.


24 Mar 11 - 09:29 AM (#3120378)
Subject: RE: Cowell Collection Shaniies
From: greg stephens

They are too close to be unconnected. One must have come from the other, though in which orded I am not qualified to say.


24 Mar 11 - 11:43 AM (#3120460)
Subject: RE: Cowell Collection Shaniies
From: Lighter

See the "Bless 'em All!" thread for complete, complicated details.

A summary:

Fred Godfrey was a well-known English composer. Evidently, while in uniform in 1916, he casually lit the flame of "Bless 'em All!" by setting original (lost and, they say, unprintably satirical) lyrics to a variant of this melody. Not too surprising, since Godfrey's song was intended solely for his messmates in the Royal Naval Air Service.

The new, popular version, with presumably brand-new lyrics, appeared in 1941, without acknowledgement to Godfrey. But the publishers soon acknowledged his name. Just what evidence he showed them appears to be lost.

Beyond that, the pre-1941 history of "Bless 'em All!" remains entirely obscure. But the melody's essential identity to Robinson's music-hall song of the 1890s is unmistakable.