Music Of The Waters - online book

Sailors' Chanties, Songs Of The Sea, Boatmen's, Fishermen's,
Rowing Songs, & Water Legends with lyrics & sheet music

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Music of the Waters.                   23
Solo.—If she never comes back, hoy oh. Chorus.—Cheerily, men.
Solo.—I can get another girl, hoy oh. Chorus.—Cheerily, men.
Solo.—Good-bye, Sally Racket, hoy oh. Chorus.—Cheerily, men.
Solo.—You can keep my old jacket, hoy oh. Chorus.—Cheerily, cheerily, men.
Solo.—And burn the ticket, hoy oh. Chorus.—Cheerily, cheerily, men. (Spoken) That'll do, boys.
The words at the end of the song are spoken by the man in charge of the work—mate, second mate, or boatswain. In the chorus the word " men " is accented by the pull ; and in the solo lines the word "oh" is where another pull is taken.
I am told that the oldest chanty on record is one that goes by the name of " Cheerily, men ; oh holly, hi-ho, cheerily, men." But at what time, in what place it is used —or I should say, was used, for I think it is almost obsolete now—I cannot say. It is, however, a typical specimen of an English sailor-song of a remote period, for undoubtedly many of the sailor-songs are of negro origin. They are the reminiscences of melodies sung by negroes stowing cotton in the holds of ships in Southern ports. The " chanty-men" have, to some extent, kept to the silly words of the negroes, and have altered the melodies to suit their purposes.
Any quick, lively tune, to which you might work a fire-engine, will serve for the music of a pumping song. The words vary with even' fancy. " Pay me the money down " is a very favourite pumping chorus. Somehow thus the verse runs (it is known as an English comic song) :—
Solo.—Your money, young man, is no object to me. Chorus.—Pay me the money down.
Solo.—Half-a-crown's no great demand.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III