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Should women sing chanties

Steve Gardham 31 May 19 - 04:44 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 31 May 19 - 04:35 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 31 May 19 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,Lighter 28 May 19 - 08:16 PM
meself 28 May 19 - 08:01 PM
GUEST 28 May 19 - 07:48 PM
GUEST,Some bloke 28 May 19 - 02:53 PM
meself 28 May 19 - 12:54 PM
Lighter 28 May 19 - 11:21 AM
meself 25 May 19 - 05:02 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 May 19 - 03:47 PM
Steve Gardham 24 May 19 - 03:24 PM
Lighter 24 May 19 - 10:24 AM
Stilly River Sage 23 May 19 - 11:14 PM
meself 23 May 19 - 10:04 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 23 May 19 - 09:24 PM
GUEST,greg stephens 08 May 19 - 05:05 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 May 19 - 07:57 PM
GUEST,Some other bloke whatever 07 May 19 - 11:08 AM
Steve Gardham 06 May 19 - 04:44 PM
Jim Carroll 05 May 19 - 04:03 AM
GUEST 05 May 19 - 03:19 AM
punkfolkrocker 05 May 19 - 02:58 AM
GUEST,harpy 05 May 19 - 02:15 AM
Gibb Sahib 04 May 19 - 09:20 PM
GUEST,mg 04 May 19 - 06:56 PM
Chanteyranger 03 May 19 - 10:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 May 19 - 09:52 PM
meself 03 May 19 - 05:35 PM
punkfolkrocker 03 May 19 - 03:35 PM
Mrrzy 03 May 19 - 12:31 PM
Andy7 02 May 19 - 07:58 PM
meself 02 May 19 - 07:54 PM
Andy7 02 May 19 - 06:48 PM
punkfolkrocker 02 May 19 - 06:23 PM
Jim Carroll 02 May 19 - 06:20 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 May 19 - 05:06 PM
punkfolkrocker 02 May 19 - 02:19 PM
GUEST,Sol 02 May 19 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 01 May 19 - 04:18 PM
punkfolkrocker 01 May 19 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Someone else 01 May 19 - 02:56 AM
Gibb Sahib 30 Apr 19 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 29 Apr 19 - 10:30 PM
Jeri 29 Apr 19 - 09:21 PM
GUEST,Wm 29 Apr 19 - 09:16 PM
punkfolkrocker 29 Apr 19 - 08:29 PM
Gibb Sahib 29 Apr 19 - 08:11 PM
olddude 29 Apr 19 - 07:44 PM
Lighter 29 Apr 19 - 07:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 May 19 - 04:44 PM

Can you give us the quote to 'Cheerly Men' please, Phil? Gibb probably has this but if you mention it here you might as well quote it.

That chanties are related to rowing songs, or rowing songs as chanties is quite well documented, but for several reasons already stated we don't think that is what is happening here.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 31 May 19 - 04:35 PM

Shanty, like calypso, is performed extempore:

"...the men sang a verse, or part of a verse, and were then followed by the females, who took up their part very readily; and their fine clear voices, keeping time with the motion of the oars, had a pleasing effect."

A rose is a rose is a rose...

Same volume (and crew) has the earliest example of Cheerly Men in the document record.

If the object of a good rowing, pump or capstan cadence is to "fool the hours" I'd say these folks here have got the general idea just fine.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 31 May 19 - 03:15 PM

Women should certainly sing "Blow the Winds Southerly"


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 28 May 19 - 08:16 PM

Last "GUEST" was me.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: meself
Date: 28 May 19 - 08:01 PM

My point about the dates is simply that either or both songs may have been circulating in some form before their formal first publications - or their first publications to the best of our knowledge. I'm probably being pedantic, but, anyway ......


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST
Date: 28 May 19 - 07:48 PM

Meself, for the 1825, 1828 dates, see above, May 23, 9:24 pm.

Admittedly it isn't clear that any rowers were singing. But the date makes the issue moot.

For the original printing of the 1829 song:
https://tinyurl.com/yxdus8us

C. F. Klinck, ed., Literary History of Canada (1976), vol. I, p. 182:

"It is not a translation of any known Gaelic song....There has been considerable debate about its authorship, but it was probably written by David Macbeth Moir as a result of letters sent to him by John Galt when he visited Canada in 1827."


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 28 May 19 - 02:53 PM

And still this thread remains...


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: meself
Date: 28 May 19 - 12:54 PM

"(in print in 1828), which leaves this one out."
"its first known appearance was indeed in Blackwood's in 1829"
??

But then, as someone once said: "was [it] in circulation before its apparent 1829 publication?"

"Try singing the super-literary 1829 "Canadian Boat-Song" while rowing" - The quotation from 1828 re: CBS doesn't suggested that anyone was rowing, if that is your implication(?).

Btw, I'm not sure why thecanadianencyclopedia.ca would be so insistent that the 'lone shieling' song would not be Canadian "even in implication", given that it is titled 'Canadian Boat Song' and is clearly set on the western side of the Atlantic.

Another btw: I don't have anything invested in either of these songs and I'm not trying to score any points; just curious as to the (im)possibilities.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Lighter
Date: 28 May 19 - 11:21 AM

Try singing the super-literary 1829 "Canadian Boat-Song" while rowing:

Listen to me, as when ye heard our father
Sing long ago the song of other shores—
Listen to me, and then in chorus gather
All your deep voices, as ye pull your oars:

CHORUS.
Fair these broad meads—these hoary woods are grand;
But we are exiles from our fathers' land.

From the lone shieling of the misty island
Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas—
Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides:

Fair these broad meads—these hoary woods are grand;
But we are exiles from our fathers' land.

We ne'er shall tread the fancy-haunted valley,
Where 'tween the dark hills creeps the small clear stream,
In arms around the patriarch banner rally,
Nor see the moon on royal tombstones gleam:

Fair these broad meads—these hoary woods are grand;
But we are exiles from our fathers' land.

When the bold kindred, in the time long-vanish'd,
Conquer'd the soil and fortified the keep,—
No seer foretold the children would be banish'd,
That a degenerate Lord might boast his sheep:

Fair these broad meads—these hoary woods are grand;
But we are exiles from our fathers' land.

Come foreign rage—let Discord burst in slaughter!
O then for clansman true, and stern claymore—
The hearts that would have given their blood like water,
Beat heavily beyond the Atlantic roar:

Fair these broad meads—these hoary woods are grand;
But we are exiles from our fathers' land.



Anyway, the reported singing of a "CBS" upthread was in 1825 (in print in 1828), which leaves this one out.

The "Canadian" connection is that it was supposed to have been sung in Canada (in Gaelic) by Canadian-born Scots ("strapping fellows") rowing down the St. Lawrence.

Its authorship has been debated, but its first known appearance was indeed in Blackwood's in 1829.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: meself
Date: 25 May 19 - 05:02 PM

"'Canadian Boat Song'. A song composed by the Irish poet Thomas Moore during a visit to Canada in 1804 - not to be confused with the 'Canadian Boat Song' known also as 'The Lone Shieling' (1829), which is not Canadian, even in implication, and is not a boat song, either."

And we don't which, if either, was being referred to (was the second in circulation before its apparent 1829 publication?) .....


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 May 19 - 03:47 PM

Should women sing chanties
Should women wear panties
You don't see coxswain, or bosun
Or yet a marine
Sporting lingerie in the rigging
Its never been seen.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 May 19 - 03:24 PM

The description above is a far cry from the Georgian slaves singing their embryonic chanties whilst rowing cargoes upriver at about the same period. Chalk and cheese.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Lighter
Date: 24 May 19 - 10:24 AM

"Canadian Boat Song" was a popular art song written and composed by Thomas Moore (1804).

https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/canadian-boat-song-emc


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 May 19 - 11:14 PM

Picky picky! (Good to see you participating, Greg!)


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: meself
Date: 23 May 19 - 10:04 PM

I wouldn't think that a "Canadian boat song" would be a chanty - more likely a French-Canadian 'voyageur' song (i.e., French-laguage songs associated with the paddling of trade canoes, in this case transferred to a sailing boat/ship) ... ?


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 23 May 19 - 09:24 PM

Uh....oh:

"Saturday, 8th July—Mr. G—— who had lately come down from Leeds, having consented to return there with me, he and I embarked on board a batteau, for St. Nicholas's Mills. While sailing up the river, we were entertained with the simple melody of the Canadian boat song : the men sang a verse, or part of a verse, and were then followed by the females, who took up their part very readily; and their fine clear voices, keeping time with the motion of the oars, had a pleasing effect..."
[A Journal of a Voyage to Quebec in 1825, Finan, 1828, pp.138]


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,greg stephens
Date: 08 May 19 - 05:05 AM

Here's a good one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ldm70tuiP_Q


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 May 19 - 07:57 PM

It's putting one's desire to have a thing ahead of the desire of the previous owner's. I see no reason not to *consider* the "rights" of both parties.

Don't be intrigued - be respectful. The observer who has no rights to the songs should leave them alone. For example, if an outsider decides to offer their own version of the Nightway, without the Navajo permission and without the background, venue, time of year, blessing, etc., they are doing harm. Whether YOU believe it or not, the practitioners of those beliefs believe it. This is cultural appropriation and it is really offensive to native people and their supporters. The most offensive of those borrowing these songs and rituals and artifacts are the faux-shaman crowd who give themselves Indian-sounding names and set up teepees in their Palm Springs yards to chant with their crystals and feathers, or do sweat lodge ceremonies, etc. All of this is bunco, Euramericans getting rich promoting pan-Indian "culture" and "religion."

Case in point, there is a YouTube link (that I won't post) that has a recording of part of the Navajo Nightway (probably made unofficially or in a clandestine way) playing behind a slideshow of Indian-themed paintings and objects. At the end it thanks "Navajo" (?), a doctor (professor?), and who knows what the last bit is. And in the remarks below, from a woman with a traditional Navajo last name of "Tsosie," is this plea:

I like to say something about our traditional way about all these Navaho's song's that are in U tube and every thing like sand painting and what we use for our ceremony. We are not allowed to do that. Our old, old medicine man's told us not to ever do that. This is no, no. I do not like this. Even our prayer songs are in U tube. My goodness!! People. No wonder the ceremony are not working for us anymore. Alot of our people are sick now day's. They just go to the hospital all the time. Enough is enough. No more of this. Respect your ceremony. please!!?


Chanteys are wide-ranging and secular. It's an entirely different discussion. When you're a scholar interested in Other cultures, you have to be very careful in how you address it and what you say about it. Chanteys are out there and women singing are fine - men who are offended by it today are posers.


For further reading look to a specialist in American Indian works, librarian Lisa Mitten and her excellent essay "I" is not for Indian is a good starting point.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Some other bloke whatever
Date: 07 May 19 - 11:08 AM

I am intrigued by the "Don't misrepresent our indigenous stuff" vs "free speech" analogy.

However, shanties as an important work tool on board ships possibly died out soon after Brunel worked out you could put large engines in ships. Fishing net hauling may have had a niche market for a while but the shanties of present knowledge do not represent a set of people living today.

So you see, misogyny isn't even an excuse for this poorly named thread nor some of the comments contained within.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 May 19 - 04:44 PM

Almost everyone who has sung chanties since WWII has sung them for entertainment, very occasionally for re-enactment. In the case of the former they are completely taken out of their original context and have become something else, no matter how they are 'dressed up'. They make damn good chorus songs especially when sung lustily although a few have been sung successfully in a much gentler style. To suggest that women can't sing in a lusty manner is patently wrong. Some certainly CAN.

What we perceive as choirs, those we see competing on TV, and in schools following very strict timing and in sweet voices certainly would not be suited to chanties, but those large untrained chanty crews we see occasionally at festivals, sometimes Dutch seamen, and fishermen's choirs, can and do make a good fist of it.

The opinion that SS and the BBC choir wouldn't get etc....is pretty irrelevant. SS was doing something he'd done naturally decades earlier and the rest was intended as entertainment.

I'm part of a 6-man group specialising in sea songs, waterways songs and chanties. We all have some experience of ships and sailing but we are under no delusions; we are singing for entertainment and education in heritage matters. Some of our chanties are accompanied, some unaccompanied, mostly sung with harmonies. At our chanty workshops we emphasize they wouldn't have been sung with harmonies or accompanied. We are not re-enactment.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 May 19 - 04:03 AM

"there is no reason at all why women should not sing them"
That's why the question is misleadingly worded - it should have beed CAN women sing them and do justice to them
Personally, I believe shanties sung by choirs sound daft
For vivid proof of this, seek out the BBC recording (made in the 1950s) of genuine shantyman, Stanly Slade singing 'Blow the Man Down' accompanied by the BBC Choir - wouldn't get a rowing boat across Sefton Park Lake !!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST
Date: 05 May 19 - 03:19 AM

Very few people actually sing shanties now in any form that were it possible those who used to work to them would recognise them. So they have lost their "soul" as it were, they are no longer what they were made for. They have become a sort of poor relation and just dumped into some sort of sub-genre "songs of the sea". That being so they are simply songs and there is no reason at all why women should not sing them. But as Jim Carroll has often said about folk music and folk clubs. Anyone putting that label to their product should bear the responsibility and duty to ensure that the punters coming through the door get what is stated on the tin. Therefore anyone specifically calling themselves a Shanty Group/Choir should sing those shanties as they were originally sung, i.e. don't label yourself as one thing and deliver another.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 05 May 19 - 02:58 AM

Gibb Sahib - here I mostly agree with you.

For some reason Hugh Laurie singing the Blues immediately comes to mind..
Folks can guess my opinion on that...

I'm a product of late 1970s punk Rock against Racism, 2 Tone Ska,
and early 80s WOMAD..
I've developed my musical sensibilities over more than 40 years
of assimilating cultural cross fertilisation,
genre-bending, and more recent internet age enthusiastic loving mashup remixes.

Yes, by now music has become a free-for-all...
But the results can either enrich shared & willingly traded cultural activities,
or just be shit music made by untalented oafs...

For me the key words are 'sensitivity and respect' for the traditions of others.
But they are not absolutely sacrosact.. nor should they ever be...

There are 'world music' & 'Trad Folk' genres I adore,
but know I am not capable of performing well enough to do them justice
with any degree of authenticity,
or add any value from my own self indulgence...
However, I will appropriate stylistic elements from other cultures that engage me,
if I sincerely believe it will make my work more musically interesting...

For instance, I will raid East European & Klezmer styles,
I will be inspired by the instrumental studio FX sonics of Dub Reggae ...
My heart is in that, and for me those are fair game...

But I would not repeat the mistakes of those patronising white middle class diletante 'Tribal' & 'Celtic' dabblers
we know of and are embarrassed by...


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,harpy
Date: 05 May 19 - 02:15 AM

Sea shanties are identified with male sailors in my mind but as a sailor from a wee babe on, I love to sing them. They do go with the movements of winching sails, that’s for sure.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 May 19 - 09:20 PM

McGrath,

"Though no sillier than any suggestion that anyone should be denied the right to sing any song."

Have you encountered instances where someone was being denied the *right* to sing a song? Or is that some kind of strawman or exaggeration?

A First Nations group (say) has a song that only they (in that group) have sung, and they say to outsiders "Please don't sing our song. (In fact, don't even record our song when we sing.)" An outsider says, "free speech! free country! I'm going to sing it anyway!" That person does have a legal right (unless the song is under copyright). They *may* have some kind of God-given (?) right, if that's your philosophy. But really, *should* they do it? Perhaps they should, perhaps they shouldn't. I don't think *that* question is silly. If the outsider does it with no consideration whatsoever, merely asserting his/her "right," it sounds to me rather entitled at best, an asshole at worst. It's putting one's desire to have a thing ahead of the desire of the previous owner's. I see no reason not to *consider* the "rights" of both parties. If it's found that the previous owner's claim to exclusivity is unreasonable, then so be it.

I'm reminded of the Anglo opium traders in China: "Free trade!" The dudes wanted their profits from illegal opium. So they assert this seemingly inarguable value of "free trade" as a bludgeon. Lucky for them they had a more powerful navy.

Are musical practices such generic objects... just a bunch of meaningless pitches and rhythms floating around... that everyone is equally entitled to everyone else's like oxygen molecules? Maybe, but I think that devalues them. If the pitches, rhythms, texts etc. are not bound in a relationship to those people which gave them a particular value, then what's the point of having them? Why not get one's own pitches and rhythms? I think the answer is that the creators created something powerful, and we want a piece of that power, the product of their work. If we want that, it seems only decent to consider their (the creators') terms before proceeding. Keywords: Consider and Should (not Can).


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 04 May 19 - 06:56 PM

I think my next cd might be all women, especially those of us who have sung maritime music for decades together..some shanties, some not. I think again it depends on who you are singing with..whom. if you have a squeaky little voice like me it won't work in a big and loud crowd so if i wanted to sing shanties i would either do it with a mike or i would enlist likeminded squeaks to sing with. not everyone has to do everything every time.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 03 May 19 - 10:31 PM

Yes, I have a strong opinion on this. Of course any woman who wants to should sing chanteys!


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 May 19 - 09:52 PM

What a silly question.

(Though no sillier than any suggestion that anyone should be denied the right to sing any song.)


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: meself
Date: 03 May 19 - 05:35 PM

The emphasis here should be on inclusive discussion - for fun, for the stimulation of thought, and for the sharing of knowledge. I, for one, welcome academic contribution.

Now, here's a little secret: if I start reading a long post and find I don't want to read it, why by golly, I just stop reading it and move on.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 03 May 19 - 03:35 PM

Do most of us agree the emphasis here should be on inclusive singing for fun...???

No-one should begrudge academics seriously analysing and debating the history
and traditions of the subject..

As long as they refrain from inapropriate elitist mystification and snobbery,
in such an informal music enthusiast's forum ....


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Mrrzy
Date: 03 May 19 - 12:31 PM

I guess I still just don't get it. We're talking singing for fun, no, not at work? Who actually cares about the shape of the folds of skin at the other end of the singer's torso?


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Andy7
Date: 02 May 19 - 07:58 PM

:-) Whatever fortune brings ...


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: meself
Date: 02 May 19 - 07:54 PM

Gentlemen: I think we've found the next Melville.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Andy7
Date: 02 May 19 - 06:48 PM

"I know that, to the common apprehension, this phenomenon of whiteness is not confessed to be the prime agent in exaggerating the terror of objects otherwise terrible; nor to the unimaginative mind is there aught of terror in those appearances whose awfulness to another mind almost solely consists in this one phenomenon, especially when exhibited under any form at all approaching to muteness or universality."

This is a paradigm of a sentence so complex, and so crammed full of at times almost unintelligible words and phrases, each of which appears intended to convey some deep and meaningful relationship with each of the other almost unintelligible words and phrases contained within the sentence, that one might almost imagine, were one to be in the mood for such imaginings, that the philosophy at the core of such a sentence could possibly be quite as complex as the philosophy at the core of the deceptively simple question 'What is folk music', were anyone to ask such a question; unlikely though it incontestably is, that the asking of the aforementioned question would ever occur to those who contribute to a folk music website such as that within which we currently find ourselves.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 May 19 - 06:23 PM

"It's a whale, it's white; that may or may not make it more scary..
Some folks might not be too bothered how white it is,
but that 'orrible whiteness nearly made me brown myself...!!!
"...

Shanties about big scary whales...???
might be some good un's anyone could sing if they want to...


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 May 19 - 06:20 PM

The should never have been "should women sing shanties" but can they sing shanties and make them believable
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 May 19 - 05:06 PM

It was the whiteness of the whale that above all things appalled me...

I know that, to the common apprehension, this phenomenon of whiteness is not confessed to be the prime agent in exaggerating the terror of objects otherwise terrible; nor to the unimaginative mind is there aught of terror in those appearances whose awfulness to another mind almost solely consists in this one phenomenon, especially when exhibited under any form at all approaching to muteness or universality.


~Melville


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 May 19 - 02:19 PM

Sol - thank you.. life really is that simple...

no matter how over-complex some need to make it for their own advantage...


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Sol
Date: 02 May 19 - 02:03 PM

To me, a song is a song is a song.
It's for singing by all - full stop.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 01 May 19 - 04:18 PM

Product-Package-Consumer.

Here we go again. Change any one and you get a different answer. Which one are you?

If the producer & consumer are in a liberal arts program it's an audit for points. Do you what you need for lots of points from the producer.

If the pairing is a monthly folk club the entire dynamic changes. Classwork, homework, labwork & lectures are not fun.

There is no "one size fits all" in the free market.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 May 19 - 12:28 PM

"In the briefest way:"

.. hardly...

I think there may be 2 or 3 interesting points in there submerged under the academicese waffle..

At this point, yes it might be useful to reflect on the extent of Black sailors
in European military and merchant navies in the 18th cent...???

..and their influence on the form of shanties...?????

why not... it helps broaden and inform an educated perspective...

So, anyway, now in 2019 any women of any colour can sing shanties if they want to,
or not if they don't want to..
Whatever their reasons.
But it aint exactly going to make the real world of gender/race relations significantly better either way... is it...???

Just for the fun of it, here's Kathy Acker reimagining the shanty for her own reasons...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6E8HKuLLfI


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Someone else
Date: 01 May 19 - 02:56 AM

Should you be allowed to spell shanty Chanty?

Ignoring the outrageous proposition of the thread and how uncomfortable it is staring out of your screen whether you click on it or not, it is artistically limiting to the same degree as the inferred misogyny.

For the record, I reckon over the years I’ve sung about herring fishing, working in factories, mills, steelworks, farms and the office of a calico printer. Yet I don’t normally sing about mining. I leave that to those who unlike me aren’t ex miners. I’m sure ex soldiers would be bemused by my attempted empathy in war songs too.

Still, I’ve yet to start a shanty claiming I can sing it because I’m a bloke and I don’t black up to sing blues either.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 30 Apr 19 - 08:29 PM

Hi, Wm,

In the briefest way:
Singular reinforcement of sailors/sailing ships as the site of chanty practice contributes/ has contributed to gendering chanty singing as particularly masculine *and* racializing it as particularly White. To the extent that masculinity and whiteness are attached to the idea of sailors, we tend to (usually inadvertently) reinforce those qualities when we endeavor to reinforce the sailor-ness of chanties. There is a paradox somewhere in there, in that chanties were certainly a tradition of sailors. It comes down to what is emphasized and what is neglected. What are we seeing and what are we not seeing, in the discourse that has come to shape our current perceptions of chanties?

While we have made progress with the latter (I think, because we have developed a better toolkit for discussing race), discussion of gender lags behind, remains more "invisible."

That gender and race also intersect can perhaps be illustrated by considering a question (to ask ourselves, rhetorically—not to be answered here): How many people, when envisioning a woman as a potential singer of chanties, were envisioning a White women? Were they envisioning a Black woman?

In this way, I consider the project of re-imagining the chanty genre an aid to gender and racial equality. In my opinion, it is a more deeply rooted sort of change that opens the space to women etc. performing chanties that, in the long game, can be more effective than simply asserting that "anyone should perform anything they want." The desired outcome (inclusion) may be the same, but the way of approaching it is different. More difficult, but I think more effective and long-lasting.

The examples I would most like to share are on the Cultural Equity website, which appears to be down presently. Perhaps in the future.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 10:30 PM

Re: Waulking-v-Shanty: Fulling songs


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Jeri
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 09:21 PM

When the "discussion" stops being about the purported subject, and shifts into "But you said...no, I never said that, and 'Are these sentences short enough for you guys do get it now?'" (I think the "do" should actually be "to", but perhaps you were trying some "intellectual snobbery" that is beyond our plebeian understanding of language, it's time to walk away, because it's just another excuse to play "mine's bigger than yours". (For the record, I like smart people, but people who seem to be trying to prove they're really smart, not so much.) (And also, I think my first sentence is illegally long, but y'all are smart enough to follow it.)


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Wm
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 09:16 PM

Gibb, can you elaborate on the ways folklorization created a gendered understanding of the genre and/or point to historical examples of women participating in the practice of the genre? Don't much doubt your conclusions, but would love to see how you reach them. Greatly enjoyed your book last year btw, and have recommended it heartily.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 08:29 PM

"I go on to say that my opinion that women should sing chanties
does not, however, derive from the bland position of "anyone should do whatever they want." That would be too easy.


Yeah.. why make life too easy...???

Answers submitted making concise points in plain English in less than 10000 words will be disqualified...

Additional marks will be awarded for gratuitous intellectual snobbery...


Now I remember why I packed in post grad ideology and media 30 years ago...


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 08:11 PM

"So keeping those old barriers in place is your "intellectual" answer to this question? "

Please tell me where I said that. On the contrary, I said that I see no bar to women singing chanties.

"the thing that you've identified as the issue, but I digress), which I'm reading as "these songs used to be sung only by men"."

What I said was the opposite of that.

???

"Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Gibb Sahib - PM
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 05:13 AM

I don't think the chanty genre —pre-folklorization — was particularly gendered as male."

I go on to say that women participated in chanty singing.

And the implication is that, in term's of my personal opinion, women should sing chanties (or rather...shouldn't shouldn't sing chanties)

(Are these sentences short enough for you guys do get it now?)

I go on to say that my opinion that women should sing chanties does not, however, derive from the bland position of "anyone should do whatever they want." That would be too easy.

Rather, it derives from seeing that the chanty genre, as historically practiced, does *not* seem to have specified the importance of the singer being a particular gender.

And I make the side point that I think, if anything, the process of folklorization added male gendering. I'm not in favor of that; I'm observing that it happened.

Historical practice might not be relevant to one's opinion on this. However, people are evoking historical practice here, and I'm speaking to that. And I'm saying that historical practice does NOT suggest, in my opinion, any bar to women's participation.

I weighed in with that point because most of the points being made seemed to say that history says chanty singing IS gendered as particularly male, then they go on to either say 1. Screw history, we do what we want now or 2. Due to that history I'm not in favor of it. What I said is that this is not true (in my interpretation) of history.

What is the issue? That I'm also saying "Anybody should do anything" is not a very thoughtful or engaged response to the question of gender and performing traditions? Because yes, that's what I'm saying, and it comes from a perspective of studying music traditions where very much is at stake for the performers of those traditions and for the traditions themselves as people who feel entitled to do whatever they want newly adopted performing those traditions. "Can" isn't the same as "should" in ALL cases, so I'm not in favor of blanket statements about what people should do. Ultimately, as a modern, liberal Westerner, I side on the position of "let people do as they want." All I'm saying is that there is something valid to consider --at least a bit of self awareness is in order -- when one adopts the performance of a tradition that has had gender (or class, race, etc.) central to its meaning.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: olddude
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 07:44 PM

Nope truth hurts


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Apr 19 - 07:36 PM

That is sooooo sexist!


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