Down in a | deep dark | vale sat an | old cow | munching a | bean stalkAs will be readily seen, this does not lend itself to a 'hauling chantey'. But try chanting "The First Chantey" to yourself, using the accent given by the Anglo-Saxon verse form, with its mid-line break, and you will see that it makes a convincing work song from the days of sail when the heavy tasks of a ship were done by the muscle-power of the seamen, singing as they hauled together, or following the song or fiddle of a 'shanty-man' : (again, verse 2):
Out of her | mouth came | forth: | yesterday’s | dinner and | tea.
Swift through the forest we ran; none stood to guard us,A good strong haul on the underlined words.
Few were my people and far; then the flood barred us –
Him we call Son of the Sea, sullen and swollen.
Panting we waited for death, stealer and stolen.
A Chantey is a song sung by sailors while at heavy work (weighing – raising – the anchor, or swaying up – hoisting - the heavy yards up the masts). Most chanteys have been handed down by several generations of seamen, but few have been put into print, partly perhaps because they are generally crudely constructed, but principally because most of them are grossly indecent. They must not be confused with sea-songs sung mostly for amusement, such as those recorded in Captains Courageous. In The Light that Failed, the Nilghai sings a sea-song that dates from Nelson’s time, ‘Farewell and Adieu to you, Spanish Ladies’. Most of the Chanteys have a boisterous and sometimes meaningless chorus. The song "Frankie’s Trade", in Rewards and Fairies is in the true Chantey style.Durand was writing nigh on a century ago, when working sail was nearing the end of its life, and true chanteys are now no longer heard at sea. But new generations of sea-songs continue to appear. For anyone interested this Editor would strongly recommend the chanteys sung by Cyril Tawney.
So far as it is possible to judge, the history of the evolution of the boat has been as follows. First the floating log giving support to the swimmer, then the canoe hollowed out of a single log, then the dug-out canoe with its sides raised by the addition of a long plank to break the force of the waves and partially prevent their coming aboard, until the boat built of planks, strake above strake was perfected.The first three of those four stages, very much elaborated in a light-hearted way, were used by Kipling in his address to Junior Naval Officers of an East Coast Patrol in 1918, to describe how "The First Sailor" came to make his first voyages of discovery.
In Lectures on the Early History of the Kingship, Professor Sir J G Fraser has authoritatively shown how among primitive peoples men credited with supernatural powers tend not only to become kingly priests but are often regarded as divine.[Verse 7] But, although they must have been on the edge of the burning pit, they live and are not consumed, and the sun (who else could it be?) slowly returns their log to where they started. The still-waiting lynch-party will not, cannot, touch them – they are holy – they have been to the end of the world and returned, unscathed.