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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Lighter Discovering world legacy of shanties by 'Shogun' (192* d) RE: Discovering world legacy of shanties by 'Shogun' 27 Feb 21

One reason chanteys may have been ignored for so long is that they were typically inconclusive and incoherent, often with lines "plagiarized" from popular songs or improvised on the spur of the moment. Rhyme was desirable but mot required.

That may be one reason for the lubberly "chant" pronunciation and the spelling "chanties." They struck the average person more as odd chants than as songs anyone would sing for pleasure (and of course they weren't normally sing for pleasure, even by chanteymen.)

More structured, narrative chanteys, like some versions of "Blow the Man Down" and even "A-Roving," leant themselves to more stable rhymes and less extensive improvisation.

I suspect that sometimes a chanteyman felt he was "singing a song" (repeating, more or less accurately, a set of lyrics) and other times just singing rhymes.

Of course, Gibb has more experience singing chanteys in a determinedly trad, improvisatorial manner than just about anyone.

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