Mudcat Café message #2077113 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #102326   Message #2077113
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
14-Jun-07 - 02:56 PM
Thread Name: Sailors' Songs or Chanties- Songbook Index
Subject: RE: Sailors' Songs or Chanties- Index
All sorts of songsters went to sea and journals of songs were made by sailors.
How to keep men occupied during days of just sailing in clement weather, or just looking for targets, was a problem; continuous work was not feasible.

Gale Huntington's book "Songs the Whalemen Sang" (repub. 2005, Mystic Seaport), 175 mid-19th c. songs from journals made up aboard sailing vessels, is a partial answer to your question. A second volume is in MS.

Not all sailors were ignorant drunken louts, incapable of speaking understandably, although unfortunately some modern chantey singers adopt this persona.

The old English words (14th c.) chant and chanting certainly would be known to the chantmen, although pronunciation with soft 'ch' was common.
Chaunt already was becoming chant in the 17th c and was usual in 19th c. English.

Humor, of course, is American; they lack humour (read long ago in an English magazine).