Mudcat Café message #4094183 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #169408   Message #4094183
Posted By: Steve Gardham
21-Feb-21 - 05:06 PM
Thread Name: Review: Davis & Tozer 50 Sailors Songs or Chanties
Subject: RE: Review: Davis & Tozer 50 Sailors Songs or Chanti
Oh dear! Strange choice! I did find about half a dozen in there with what appeared to be genuine texts, but to be fair the title page does say
'The Words BY Frederick J. Davis.'

A few are obviously completely from the pen of Davis.

The majority appear to start with 1 or 2 genuine verses and then go off into La La Land. Some have a few genuine verses sprinkled about and yet others have verses with part genuine and part made up elements. Conversely one or two of the songs such as 'Married to a Mermaid' have the original text but with a new first verse.

In light of this, to my shame, I think in the dim and distant past I have been guilty of singing Davis's words. Lowlands for instance, Reuben Ranzo.

His version of the 'Saucy Sailor' follows the theme well enough with a couple of stanzas close to the genuine, but the rest is obviously rewritten.

Similarly 'Golden Vanity' follows the usual plot but elaborated.

His 'Blow the Man Down' develops 'The Fishes' theme of up jumped the cod etc., but more elaborate.

I'm also now wondering if he is responsible for the standard set of Boney.

The whole thing would make a great study comparing with earlier and later versions. We might well find that he was responsible for some of the standard sets we sing today.