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Away Rio: pronunciation

DigiTrad:
RIO GRANDE


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Rio Grande (sailors) (56)
(origins) Origins: Different Version of Rio Grande (4)
Lyr Add: Rio Grande (from Leighton Robinson) (5)


GUEST 23 Jul 21 - 10:38 AM
RTim 23 Jul 21 - 11:43 AM
GUEST 23 Jul 21 - 01:03 PM
The Sandman 23 Jul 21 - 01:16 PM
r.padgett 23 Jul 21 - 01:50 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Jul 21 - 02:12 PM
The Sandman 23 Jul 21 - 02:21 PM
Joe Offer 23 Jul 21 - 02:23 PM
Lighter 23 Jul 21 - 02:38 PM
Dave Hanson 23 Jul 21 - 02:53 PM
SPB-Cooperator 23 Jul 21 - 02:56 PM
Jos 23 Jul 21 - 04:01 PM
The Sandman 23 Jul 21 - 05:55 PM
Lighter 23 Jul 21 - 07:32 PM
The Sandman 24 Jul 21 - 03:08 AM
GUEST 24 Jul 21 - 03:57 AM
GUEST,Jiggers 24 Jul 21 - 10:12 AM
meself 24 Jul 21 - 11:28 AM
Steve Gardham 24 Jul 21 - 01:26 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Jul 21 - 01:41 PM
Steve Gardham 24 Jul 21 - 01:43 PM
meself 24 Jul 21 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 24 Jul 21 - 11:02 PM
The Sandman 25 Jul 21 - 01:59 AM
The Sandman 25 Jul 21 - 03:10 AM
Manitas_at_home 25 Jul 21 - 04:24 AM
The Sandman 25 Jul 21 - 06:02 AM
The Sandman 25 Jul 21 - 06:05 AM
The Sandman 25 Jul 21 - 06:42 AM
Steve Gardham 25 Jul 21 - 04:13 PM
meself 25 Jul 21 - 04:18 PM
meself 25 Jul 21 - 04:18 PM
Gibb Sahib 25 Jul 21 - 05:52 PM
Lighter 25 Jul 21 - 06:38 PM
keberoxu 25 Jul 21 - 09:35 PM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 26 Jul 21 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 26 Jul 21 - 06:46 AM
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Subject: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 10:38 AM

I've come across a couple of recordings where the singers pronounce Rio as Rye-o, rather than Ree-o. It sounds quite odd and I'm wondering why anyone would pronounce Rio that way.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: RTim
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 11:43 AM

I sing Rye-O on a couple of my recordings....it seems to me more of the time when Chanties were sung - ie. not a modern pronunciation influenced by the well known Brazilian city!

In the end...how much does it matter..?
And while on the subject......How do you pronounce - Hilo....

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 01:03 PM

I don't suppose it matters a jot. It just sounded odd.

I'm not sure how the other pronunciation is "modern". It's the Spanish word for river.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 01:16 PM

shanties are good for joining in, audience participation ,i sing reeo ,but i dont think it matters,as long as people enjoy it


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: r.padgett
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 01:50 PM

Recently had this with the young'uns ~ on here I think ~ but as others have said Rio is River in Spanish hence Ree ~ O and not English Rye ~ O ~ it is the pronunciation of the a, e, i and u which is different

Ray


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 02:12 PM

Hugill conversing with one T. E. Elwell an old chantyman "Sailors sang 'Rye-o' not 'Ree-o' for though they well knew it was called ree-o that word was not a 'mouth opener' like Rye-o.

1st edition SFTSS, p94.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 02:21 PM

Steve with respect,Hugill was very knowledgeable but in my opinion a dreadful singer, just because he sang rio, should we all sing rio and also sing in his style?


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 02:23 PM

I usually sing "Rye-o" - and I have been corrected many, many times.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 02:38 PM

Hugill was a deck singer, not a pop singer.

When Alexander Blue of Greenock sang (for James M. Carpenter), "Have you been in Rio Grande?" he pronounced it as "Ry-o Grand."

Joanna Colcord, who "grew up at sea" in the '90s (her father was a captain) wrote in 1924 that "the American sailor disdained any other pronunciation than 'Ry-o.'"

On the other hand, few collectors commented on it. So plenty of sailors must have sung "Ree-o" too.

Just don't do it in front of an audience of overaged folkies.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 02:53 PM

Stan Hugill was a genuine shantyman, so his pronunciation was correct, get it ?

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 02:56 PM

Stan Hugill did not just always sing rye-o, but also pointed out in his introductions and talks that sailors ALWAYS sang rye-o.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: Jos
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 04:01 PM

Is the clue in Lighter's post quoting Joanna Colcord:
"the American sailor disdained any other pronunciation than 'Ry-o.'"

Maybe it's like Americans pronouncing Iraq to rhyme with 'tie rack'.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 05:55 PM

hugill was a shantyman who could hardly hold a tune, no one has suggested he was a pop singer.
stan hugill singing we are all going on a summer holiday ,hilarious, still he might make a better job of it than cliff richard singing the water is wide


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Jul 21 - 07:32 PM

After all these decades as an American, I can say I've never heard anybody anywhere pronounce it "Ry-o" outside of the song.

On the other hand....

Before the 20th century it was very common for English speakers to anglicize foreign pronunciations in ways that would be absolutely condemned today. (The way "Eye-rak" and "Eye-ran" are sneered at; there used to be "Jaypan" as well.)

"Ry-o" could well have developed among singers who'd read the name but didn't know Spanish - or didn't care.

Byron, for example, rhymes "Don Juan" with "true one."

So lighten up. Ree-o or Ry-o, BFD.

Finally, the practical requirements of chantey singing on shipboard have no bearing on the esthetic requirements of "chantey" singing on stage. In terms of repertoire, rhyme, rhythm, volume, and vigor, Hugill was a great chantey singer. But he needs no raves from me.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Jul 21 - 03:08 AM

Hugill sang the songs as work songs, but he did not have much of a voice imo, yes lighter you are correct in that respect he sang them well enough, but their purpose in folk clubs is to be as an audience participation happening.
singing it as rio or reeo hardly matters, the argument for singing reeo because the blessed Stan sang it that way is weak, if he sang "nigger" that is not a reason for singing it.
Stan was very knowledgeable about shanties, however,i understand his politics were reactionary


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Jul 21 - 03:57 AM

Thanks for all the replies, chaps.

#makemineashanty


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: GUEST,Jiggers
Date: 24 Jul 21 - 10:12 AM

How about Orio, as in R.I.O, so a bit like REO speedwagon.


Away R.I.O away

This would appeal to and confuse the youger population who would be trying to work out what RIO stands for in text message world.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: meself
Date: 24 Jul 21 - 11:28 AM

To my understanding, it was not unheard of for chanteymen to play around with pronunciations, by making short vowels long, adding rhythmic syllables, etc.; in fact, I'm given to believe there was a bit of a fad for such.

I'd be inclined to credit Hugill with some authority on the subject (what on earth his politics have to do with it is beyond me).


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Jul 21 - 01:26 PM

As far as this thread is concerned Stan's singing and pronunciation are irrelevant. Read my post of 2.12 p.m. carefully please.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Jul 21 - 01:41 PM

Perhaps my post wasn't as clear as it could be. Elwell was the chantyman of the 1890s giving Hugill the information, not the other way round.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 24 Jul 21 - 01:43 PM

As for who should sing it which way, as some have already said, it doesn't matter one jot. They are both correct, as with other pronunciations mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: meself
Date: 24 Jul 21 - 08:08 PM

Perhaps my post wasn't as clear as it could be. I didn't say anything about Stan's singing and pronunciation - I suggested that he might be taken as something of an authority on the subject, which your citing of his quotation of Elwell would seem to support. Not sure what your objection is.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 24 Jul 21 - 11:02 PM

When the Kingston Trio recorded this chantey with an orchestra,
they sang it as the Spanish sing it,
"ree - oh."


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jul 21 - 01:59 AM

just because hugill pronounced it one way is a weak argument, if hugill sang "nigger" in johnny come down to hilo, should we all sing it that way absoluteley ridiculous, Hugill using that word would not surprise me[ because of his politics],
HE WAS A BACWARD LOOKING PERSON A REACTIONARY


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jul 21 - 03:10 AM

here is a poem which is a parody of Didactism. LewisCarroll

    "You are old, Father William," the young man said,
       "And your hair has become very white;
    And yet you incessantly stand on your head—
       Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

    "In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
       "I feared it might injure the brain;
    But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
       Why, I do it again and again."

    "You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
       And have grown most uncommonly fat;
    Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door—
       Pray, what is the reason of that?"

    "In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
       "I kept all my limbs very supple
    By the use of this ointment—one shilling the box—
       Allow me to sell you a couple."

    "You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
       For anything tougher than suet;
    Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak—
       Pray, how did you manage to do it?"

    "In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
       And argued each case with my wife;
    And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
       Has lasted the rest of my life."

    "You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
       That your eye was as steady as ever;
    Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose—
       What made you so awfully clever?"

    "I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
       Said his father; "don't give yourself airs!
    Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
       Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs!"


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 25 Jul 21 - 04:24 AM

Dick, if you'd bother to stop kicking corpses and read the post you'd see it was Hugill's sources, one in particular, that pronounced it that way.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jul 21 - 06:02 AM

Manitas, pronounce it how you like, it is not important.
I am realistic about Stan Hugill, his books are excellent and he was knowledgeable about shanties.
Shanties are not used as work songs when sung in folk clubs , sing them however you like, their main purpose is to get people to join in


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jul 21 - 06:05 AM

Manitas
There is no point in deifying Stan Hugill.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Jul 21 - 06:42 AM

Shanties are sung by some in harmony, others like The Shanty Crew, believed in singing them in the way Stan said, i do not mind as long as people have practised their performances, so rio or reeo, whatever you like


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Jul 21 - 04:13 PM

meself, my post wasn't aimed at you. We cross posted I think.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: meself
Date: 25 Jul 21 - 04:18 PM

Oh - sorry!


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: meself
Date: 25 Jul 21 - 04:18 PM

Oh - sorry!


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 25 Jul 21 - 05:52 PM

I've never understood why sometimes people raise this "issue" but stop short of saying anything about "Grande." A Texan once heard me sing "Rye-o Grand" and corrected my pronunciation -- as if I weren't a fellow American who knew exactly how we currently pronounce the name of the river in English! ("Rio Grand") I said, "So... what about the 'grande'?"

Also: Are you aiming for a Spanish pronunciation or Portuguese?!

Rye-o is one old-time pronunciation by ENGLISH speakers.

We see Rye-o in evidence on the majority of recordings -- tying this pronunciation to the song (i.e. whether or not the pronunciation was common in speech). It's a localized pronunciation; prescribed pronunciations according to grand(e) concepts of standard languages don't apply.

(Just returned from 'Owhyee' (Hawai'i), was in Hilo (not pronounced as in chanties, and nothing to do with chanties). Home to the island of "Mowee" -- a spelling which would probably lead English speakers to capture the native pronunciation better than the contemporary spelling, "Maui.")


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Jul 21 - 06:38 PM

Gibb, do you mean the majority of the (very few) old-sailor recordings, or of the (very many) folkie records?

There's also an old bawdy song with the chorus, "Ry-o, ry-o, bully o' ry-o,/ Jesus Christ, how bully I feel!

It isn't clear what that "ry-o" means, if anything.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Jul 21 - 09:35 PM

If you care to visit an area of the US where the locals say
Ri-o Gran-de, and Gua-da-lu-pe,
instead of Rio Grand' and Guadalup',
I recommend the state west of Texas,
and north of El Paso.
It's called New Mexico.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 26 Jul 21 - 06:29 AM

When I first arrived in Houston, TX, I learnt my street name as "Bear Boulevard" and pronounced it accordingly. I was not corrected even once in the weeks that followed.

When I got my first mail in the post I found I actually lived on Bay Area Blvd.

Tejano, Texican, Tex-Mex is sorta, kinda Spanish but it's a long ways from the old country. Rio de Janerio = Ree-AH day Jan-AIR-err.

ie: North Dakoter, Toyoter.

Also: Ree-AH is a "bay area" but that's horse of a different colour.


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Subject: RE: Away Rio: pronunciation
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 26 Jul 21 - 06:46 AM

The Slim Pickinsest of the bunch would be crossing the Rear Gran.


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