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Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?

DigiTrad:
GOLDEN VANITY
SINKING OF THE GRAF SPEE
THE BOLD TRELLITEE
THE GOLDEN VANITY
THE GOLDEN VANITY (6)
THE GREEN WILLOW TREE
THE LOWDOWN LONESOME LOW
THE LOWLANDS LOW (7)
THE SWEET KUMADEE
THE TURKEY-ROGHER LEE and the YELLOW GOLDEN TREE


Related threads:
Recording of Golden Vanity (68)
MEANING of ' gaudie' in Sweet Kumadee?? (8)
golden vanity (10)
Origins: Golden Vanity Variants (76)
Donald Duck and The Golden Vanity (11)
translating the golden vanity (14)
Lyr Req: The Turkish Reverie (8)
Lyr Req: Lowlands Low (Warde Ford, Child #286) (6)
Lyr Req: Frank Proffitt's Lowland Low (#286) (6)
Lyr Req: johnny doughty's golden vanity (6)
Lyr Req: duncan williamson's golden vanity (5)
Lyr Req: ollie jacobs's golden vanity (bronson) (1)
Looking to ID This Song Lyric (Golden Vanity) (11)
Penguin: The Golden Vanity (3)
The Sweet Kumadee (14)


GUEST,leeneia 17 Jun 11 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Jun 11 - 11:15 AM
Big Al Whittle 16 Jun 11 - 08:29 PM
Phil Edwards 16 Jun 11 - 03:43 PM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Jun 11 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Kendall 16 Jun 11 - 01:03 PM
Les from Hull 16 Jun 11 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,Grishka 16 Jun 11 - 09:19 AM
GUEST 16 Jun 11 - 08:07 AM
Keith A of Hertford 16 Jun 11 - 08:04 AM
GUEST,Noreen on lunch break 16 Jun 11 - 07:47 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 16 Jun 11 - 07:38 AM
Les from Hull 16 Jun 11 - 07:33 AM
Keith A of Hertford 16 Jun 11 - 06:39 AM
jimL 16 Jun 11 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,BobL 16 Jun 11 - 05:28 AM
GUEST 16 Jun 11 - 05:16 AM
Phil Edwards 16 Jun 11 - 04:12 AM
Tootler 15 Jun 11 - 08:03 PM
kendall 15 Jun 11 - 07:52 PM
ripov 15 Jun 11 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Jun 11 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Jimships 15 Jun 11 - 06:21 AM
EBarnacle 02 Dec 04 - 02:18 AM
GUEST,GUEST, Stephen 01 Dec 04 - 08:29 PM
Les from Hull 13 Jul 04 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,Carlos 13 Jul 04 - 01:52 PM
IanC 16 Feb 04 - 08:30 AM
Joybell 24 Nov 03 - 05:01 PM
Joybell 24 Nov 03 - 04:51 PM
Don Firth 24 Nov 03 - 02:33 PM
Songster Bob 24 Nov 03 - 12:00 PM
Hrothgar 24 Nov 03 - 04:38 AM
The Fooles Troupe 23 Nov 03 - 08:03 PM
Joybell 23 Nov 03 - 07:22 PM
Joybell 23 Nov 03 - 06:25 PM
Peter T. 22 Nov 03 - 06:28 PM
Joe_F 17 Sep 03 - 07:36 PM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Sep 03 - 04:47 AM
EBarnacle1 11 Sep 03 - 09:41 AM
Gareth 09 Sep 03 - 07:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Sep 03 - 07:04 PM
Joe_F 09 Sep 03 - 06:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Sep 03 - 10:31 AM
Schantieman 09 Sep 03 - 09:19 AM
HuwG 09 Sep 03 - 08:50 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Sep 03 - 08:10 AM
InOBU 09 Sep 03 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,Hrothgar 09 Sep 03 - 07:42 AM
GUEST 09 Sep 03 - 07:36 AM
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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 11:17 AM

oops spelled that wrong

arduous augering


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Jun 11 - 11:15 AM

I asked the DH, a great lover of history books and all things nautical, and he has a scheme involving sheep intestines loaded with black powder. The cabin boy would drill the holes, push in the lethal links, light the fuse, and whammo!

But the plan hit a snag when I asked him how a fuse could burn underwater.

He himself pointed out that the timbers of the ship could be 6 to 12 inches thick. That's arduous argering.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 08:29 PM

I have personally witnessed a little tool sink a folk club. I expect sinking a ship is roughly the same.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 03:43 PM

the main objection would be that when he tried to turn his auger, it would stand still while the cabin boy rotated

"So he bored his little auger in the pirate ship so hated,
But the auger it stuck fast, while the cabin boy rotated.
Says he, if things go on like this I'll be bloody well belated
Ere I sink them in the lowlands low..."

Something else struck me about the song today. These pirates -

Some were playing cards and some were playing dice
And some were in their hammocks a-sporting with their wives


Not sure how to put this, but is it even possible to... er... sport with one's loved one in a hammock? I know I wouldn't like to try it.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 03:23 PM

"Leenia, are you serious??"

Of course I'm serious. How could one sister off the other sister in all the Two Sisters ballads if the other sister could swim?


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST,Kendall
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 01:03 PM

Most commercial fishermen to this day don't swim for that very reason.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 09:27 AM

I read somewhere that some sailors chose not to learn how to swim because they thought it would prolong their death if they fell overboard.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 09:19 AM

Pip Radish (16 Jun 11 - 04:12 AM), LOL. If you are the poet, well done! Which makes me long for the legendary CHALLENGES. Why not have a folk song for topic, and the challenge would be: add or replace verses to reveal how it really happened. (Not just an alternative ending, we had that before.)

ripov (15 Jun 11 - 04:53 PM) pronounced what every seasoned scholar always thinks of first.

And may I defend leeneia: although in all history most ordinary country dwellers certainly could swim, many educated persons are known who could not - they thought it beneath them. This included ship captains.

Keith A of Hertford (16 Jun 11 - 06:39 AM): Conservation of angular momentum was proclaimed later still, but even if the boy was malnourished, half of his effort would go to the drilling, the other half make him revolve round the auger. Same (more or less) with the "American Turtle". Modern systems have two drills revolving in opposite directions.

One version in the DT has the dead boy shouting from Heaven and sinking the GV for revenge - certainly not a patriotic ending, but matching the rest of the ballad in terms of realism.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 08:07 AM

On a dead man's door, you can knock forever.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 08:04 AM

A lad resourceful enough to own and use an auger, would surely be able to make use of a rubber ring, or some such aid to buoyancy.

I still think reaction was his greatest problem.
Of course the law on action and reaction did not come into force until 1687.
Do we have a date for the song?
It could conceivably have come into force between him diving in and attempting to drill.
That would explain why he was unprepared.
If we could find a missing verse that mentions whether the ship recoiled when he dived....


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST,Noreen on lunch break
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 07:47 AM

Leenia, are you serious??

Swimming has been recorded since prehistoric times; the earliest recording of swimming dates back to Stone Age paintings from around 7,000 years ago. Written references date from 2000 BC. Some of the earliest references to swimming include the Gilgamesh, the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Bible, Beowulf, and other sagas. In 1578, Nikolaus Wynmann, a German professor of languages, wrote the first swimming book...

from History of swimming on wikipedia

Interesting thread :)


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 07:38 AM

There was a reference somewhere higher up this thread to a ship being captured when grounded. This ocurred during the Enlish Civil war when a ship was capured by a cavalry troop at Blue Anchor in the Bristol Channel, between Watchet and Minehead.

I would sugest that the cabin boy's best course of action would be to try to board the enemy ship unnoticed, creep down to the bilges and bore holes from the inside. Drilling several holes in a circle, each most of the way through and then break the whole area out and run!


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 07:33 AM

c/f Bushnell's 'Turtle'


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 06:39 AM

I expect it has already been said, but the main objection would be that when he tried to turn his auger, it would stand still while the cabin boy rotated.
Action and reaction.
He has nothing to stand or hold on to.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: jimL
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 05:34 AM

No


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST,BobL
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 05:28 AM

Why "of course"? They didn't have swimming pools in those days, you know.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 05:16 AM

leeneia said: I'm pretty sure that in those far-off days nobody knew how to swim

What a stupid thing to say. Of course they could. You are very dim.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 16 Jun 11 - 04:12 AM

Just spotted this old thread.

I have assumed that the cabin boy also carried a wire saw, drilled two holes above the waterline and one below, in a sort of inverted triangle two or three feet across, and threaded the wire saw through each pair of holes and cut through.

As it says in what's surely my favourite version of the ballad:

"He took his little auger and he bored it once or twice
Then he bored for a third time with that little neat device
He made an inverted triangle, which you might have said looked nice
And he sank them in the lowlands low.

"Yes, he made an inverted triangle of holes that were so deep
One in air, two in the water, on the hull that was so steep
And through and through those little holes the water began to seep
And he sank them in the lowlands low.

"Then he sawed with his wire saw, the best that he could do
He ran his saw right through the holes and sawed the hull all through
It only took that boy an hour, or maybe it was two
To sink them in the lowlands low.

"O some were playing card games all of their own invention
And some were in their hammocks doing things I will not mention
But whatever they were doing, it took up their full attention
While he sank them in the lowlands low."


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 08:03 PM

However implausible, it makes a good story and that's what matters, IMO.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: kendall
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 07:52 PM

The song The Golden Vanity is poetic license on steroids.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: ripov
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 04:53 PM

Might this be an allegorical galleon? Perhaps a "spanish lady" that the captain fancied, but the "cabin boy" got in first? That would explain the lad using his drill 9 times. And the captains crossness.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 02:36 PM

1. I'm pretty sure that in those far-off days nobody knew how to swim. Not in a quiet pond, let alone in a cold, heaving sea.

2. This ballad is a nautical version of the usual theme of the old ballads, namely, "The upper classes are no good and cannot be trusted."


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST,Jimships
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 06:21 AM

It is a matter for physics. If the water weight gain into the hull from the hole/s exceeded the submerged and displaced volume of water of the immersed ship, than she would sink. Anything less than no and a floating condition. Slightly positive buoyancy would be normal for wooden ships. What sunk "ships of the line" was the ballast and cargo below. Usually ballast was stone or iron in some later ships and the cargo was dry or wet goods in barrels. Most of which floated. The guns were heavy and the guns generally fell about on the gin decks or out of the ship if she rolled hard for any reason. Most other ships were fishing vessels and the hold of fish would be slightly negative buoyancy and salt was typically in abundance.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 02 Dec 04 - 02:18 AM

Oh, some were playing cards and some were playing dice
And some were doing Turkish [or pirate, etc.] things which weren't very nice.

The crew were obviously distracted, which allowed the HCB to sneak up on them whilst becalmed and use his miraculous tool to enhance the natural ability of planked vessels to leak into the bilges.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST,GUEST, Stephen
Date: 01 Dec 04 - 08:29 PM

Interesting thread. I have assumed that the cabin boy also carried a wire saw, drilled two holes above the waterline and one below, in a sort of inverted triangle two or three feet across, and threaded the wire saw through each pair of holes and cut through. When the last cut was mostly done, water pressure would push the triangle of wood in, and a gaping hole would appear, sufficient to sink even a large galleon in little time if the hole wasn't found and plugged almost immediately. Of course, the cabin boy would have to be ready to swim away as soon as the wood gave way, or he'd be sucked into the sinking ship along with the rest of the water.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 06:47 PM

Carlos - the practice you describe lasted until the middle 1800s, rowed gunboats were part of the coast defence of most nations (at least, those with a coast). If a ship anchored with two anchors, or with what was called a spring on the anchor (basically another rope attached to a different part of the ship) the ship could turn a bit to bring guns to bear. Of course, you have to be able to anchor!


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST,Carlos
Date: 13 Jul 04 - 01:52 PM

The date of H the 8 to E the 1 (around 1600) suggests a Spanish enemy; that is the period of the armada. The versions of the song that refer to a Turkish enemy may be later, when England's enemy was the Turkish empire, including the Barbary pirates in north Africa. The Lowland Sea is specifically off the Netherlands (Nether means "Low").
    I have read that in the late 1700's the Turkish galleys would catch an English ship becalmed and get on its quarter where it cannot bring a cannon to bear and pound it all day with a bow gun. A galley is moved by oars, usually by slaves, rather than by sails. A ship in this position is in a dire strait and facing a slow death; there would be time for a boy to swim the distance and drill holes, and the desparation to try anything. Also, the galley would not be moving.
    The usual counter was for the ship to launch a boat and pull or push the bow around so that its broadside would bear on the galley. The galley would try to sink the boat, and if they succeeded, the ship was back in the frying pan.
    In any era, as long as there are cannon so that the galley can stand off, a galley has this advantage over a ship when the wind is calm.
    This doesn't address the basic question of whether it is possible to drill a hole or if the hole can let in enough water; but it has been my concept of how the battle took place.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: IanC
Date: 16 Feb 04 - 08:30 AM

I was just re-reading Demond Seward's "The Hundred Years War" and thought of this thread.

Seward's account of The Battle of Sluys (1340) says (p43):

"... there were even divers who tried to sink the enemy ships by boring holes in their hulls below water ..."

Oddly enough, Sluys is in the Netherlands (Lowlands) and the battle was essentially between English Cogs (converted merchant ships) and Galleys, and other vessels, belonging to the French, their allies the Castillians (Spanish) and a Genoese mercenary fleet under Barbanera (Barbenoire, or "Blackbeard" to the French).

Sewards sources are a number of contemporary chronicles, but mainly Froissart and Geoffrey le Baker for accounts of Sluys. The information doesn't appear to be in Froissart, though, and I don't currently have access to a full version of de Baker or any of the other contemporary chronicles:

The Chroniques de London depuis L'An 44 Henri III jusque d L'An 17 Edward III
Chronicon Monasterii de Melsa
Adam Murimuth, Continuatio Chronicarum
Chronicon de Lanercost


:-)


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Joybell
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 05:01 PM

Would I lie? Of course not! I'm the great-great-great granddaughter of a Mermaid why would I lie about that? It's an honour not bestowed on just anyone. I'm very proud of my heritage.
PS. I have a secret sea-name but I'm not telling for fear of being taken by Water Spirit.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Joybell
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 04:51 PM

Yes! Of course! Thanks Don. My family never threw anything out. I knew we'd find a use for it sooner or later. Come along Christmas parties.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 02:33 PM

Joybell, you could always use it for big parties. A corkscrew for nine bottles at a time!!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Songster Bob
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 12:00 PM

Thing I've always wondered about in the GV story. Here the captain had a crewmember who could outswim a ship in full sail, AND operate tools whilst keeping up with the enemy ship. Now, it seems to me that that kind of swimming isn't found every day, and, though the times were different, having a super swimmer to take on exhibition would pay lots better than running a ship, and they wouldn't even be mutually exclusive! Set up the exhibitions at the ports of call of the GV, and rake in the yokels' shekels. As for the daughter and the gold, you can always make allowances -- the girl should have SOME say in whom she marries, so the poor cabin-boy gets the cold mutton there, and, yes, I've put the gold in an account till you reach your majority. It's invested, my boy! Plastics!

Anyway, my tuppence on the subject.

Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Hrothgar
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 04:38 AM

You wouldn't lie to us, would you, Joybell?


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 08:03 PM

Ahhh... Now I understand...


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Joybell
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 07:22 PM

And as to the gadget Sailor Jack invented. Well it never would have worked would it? The Mermaid knew that. She would have thrown it away except that Jack was so proud of it. It got passed down as a family heirloom. It's somewhere in the bottm drawer of the kitchen cupboard. Never found a domestic use for a drillin' tool that bored nine holes at once.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Joybell
Date: 23 Nov 03 - 06:25 PM

Well here's how it REALLY happened.
There was this little cabin boy (hereafter LCB) who fell in love with his captain's daughter. Captain was offering all kinds of incentives to anyone able to sink the enemy ship. Sooo - LCB invented a cunning device, he being Cornish and technologicaly adept.   On the evening that his gaget was finished he stood alone on the deck, the watch was dozing, and couldn't help but cry out into the night wind, "I have a magic tool!" Unbeknowst to him a Mermaid combing her hair on a nearby rock heard the brave boast. (Mermaid = expert underwater swimmer. Able to perform magic for a price.) She was very, very interested. Human male tools are usually completely inadequate to satisfy a Mermaid. They made this deal. "I'll help you sink the enemy ship but when I call you away, you must come to me!" said the Mermaid. LCB was sure he could avoid the Mermaid's payment (it never works but humans always think it will). The deed was done by the Mermaid. LCB only had to wait in the water beside his ship. Of course the Mermaid arranged for LCB to be thrown overboard into her arms. She was a little puzzled by LCB's claims about the "Magic Tool" but he satisfied her quite well anyway and they lived happily ever after.

How do I know all this? Well Folks that Little Cabin Boy was my great, great, great grandfather - Sailor Jack Semmens from Cornwall.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Peter T.
Date: 22 Nov 03 - 06:28 PM

Listening to the album of "Family Songs and Stories from the North Carolina Mountains" (Smithsonian Folkwayswith Doug and Jack Wallin, Doug sings yet another version of the "Golden Vanity" -- in this one the boy has "an instrument made for the use" and "cut ninety-nine gashes in the Turkish Robberree" (the name of the opponent in this one). That sounds more like it!!!!

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Joe_F
Date: 17 Sep 03 - 07:36 PM

Robin: I think that may be a version of

Peeping thru the knothole in grandpa's wooden leg,
Who'll wind the clock when I am gone, etc.

But I can't find a copy of it to check. I could have sworn it was in _The New Song Fest_.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Sep 03 - 04:47 AM

20000 Folk Songs Site
lists a song

"A Boy He Had an Auger"

but currently no words, sorry...

:-)

Robin


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 09:41 AM

Head over keel is the normal mode.

SEA SONGS AND BALLADS, ed. by Christopher Stone includes "Sir Walter Raleigh Sailing in the Low-lands." In this version, the cabin boy uses a breast drill and Sir Walter takes him back aboard then gives him everything except the daughter. Even using a breast drill, there would have had to have been some sort of hooks to keep the driller from rotating as he drilled. The other possibility is that, as the song says "The which will bore fifteen good holes at once, sailing in the Low-lands," the multiplicity of holes anchored the person doing the drilling against rotation.

Although it is not the incident mentioned earlier, THE SEA WARRIORS, Richard Woodman, p.53, [author of the Nathaniel Drinkwater series] cites an event in 1794, when the French cavalry captured the Netherlands' fleet by attacking over ice on the Zuider Zee.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Gareth
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 07:14 PM

Schantieman - And if she 'pitchpoled' - Would it be "Head over keel" ?????

Gareth - Ducking and Weaving.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 07:04 PM

Those wouldn't be deep sea divers with helmets and all that. They weren't invented for hundreds of years. They'd be blokes swimming in the water, who would themseleves be "alternately above and below the water's surface"


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Joe_F
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 06:54 PM

HuwG: According to the OED, "between wind and water" means "on the load-line of a ship, which, as the vessel tosses, is alternately above and below the water's surface". This makes the mention of divers rather puzzling.


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 10:31 AM

this name has to be a joke, right

Why should it be? After all, "Kettle" is not an uncommon English surname. (For example - journalist Marin Kettle, here writing about drink.)


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: Schantieman
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 09:19 AM

To creep back to unsuitable names for vessels, the RN has four yachts at Jupiter Point (W of Plymouth) called Headstrong, Heads I Win, Hedonist and (wait for it).... Head Over Heels!

It hasn't yet.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: HuwG
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 08:50 AM

From Purser Calderon's [1] account of the Spanish Armada (1588), referring to the Spanish Flagship, the "San Martin" :


"... the holes made in the hull between wind and water caused so great a leakage that two divers had as much as they could do to stop them up with tow and lead plates, working all day".

Evidently, it was possible for divers to use mallets and other tools under water, even while the ship was under way. On the other hand, I would assume that they were being helped by the crew, and were attached by lifelines. But at any rate, it seems that professional divers existed, and were skilled and resourceful craftsmen. If asked to scuttle rather than save a ship, they would probably have obliged.





[1] Calderon's account is used by most Armada historians, but this name has to be a joke, right ? It is the Spanish word for "cauldron" or "cooking-pot".


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 08:10 AM

All this speculation about what would or what would not have been possible to do in the way of drilling holes in ships is a bit beside the point. If it is true, as has been stated, that warships did in fact in Elizabethan times employ swimmers with augers, they must have been capable of carrying out some useful function. So isn't anybody who knows something about naval history going to do a bit of research into what that was, and cast light on the whole subject?

Perhaps the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich could come up with the goods?

It appears that the 1635 version featuring Walter Raleigh as the heavy has the ship called The Sweet Trinity. Perhaps "Golden Vanity" was an adjustment with biblical overtones - "Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity..." Which would be very fitting in relation to Water Raleigh's life story. (Even down to the double meaning of vanity, since he was something of a peacock - though I'm not sure if the word could carry the current meaning at that time.)


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: InOBU
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 07:55 AM

I think this thread could sink a ship!!!!!!!!!!!!! Larry


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST,Hrothgar
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 07:42 AM

That last post was me. What the hell happened to my cookie?


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Subject: RE: Gold.Vanity. Can you REALLY sink a ship?
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 07:36 AM

EBarnacle, you might be thinking of the Basque Roads during the Napoleonic Wars.

Briefly, Cochrane came up with an idea to destroy the French fleet which was anchored in the Basque Roads. He sailed a ship filled with explosives, supported by nineteen fireships, towards the French. The explosion itself did not do a lot of damage, but it panicked many of the French into cutting their cables. By morning all but two were aground. Cochrane, by now back in his own ship, the frigate Imperieuse, signalled to Admiral Gambier to come and finish off the enemy.

Gambier, who had his nose out of joint because a junior captain had been sent to carry out this major mission, and who also thought that the use of explosion ships was diabolical, did not move. Cochrane with his frigate finished off one stranded battleship, and eventually Gambier sent in three line-of-battle ships which finished off three more. Gambier then ordered all ships to return.

After this disastrous waste of opportunity Gambier was cleared by a very political court-martial.

Cochrane was an amazing man - read any biography of him you can get. Some of his exploits turn up in the Hornblower books, as well as others.


Now - back to the thread - if the cabin boy held on to the rudder post with one hand to prevent counter-rotation while he drilled his little holes ........


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