A-Rovin’ (A2)

Interesting Facts about the A-Rovin’ (A2)

W. B. Whall, Master Mariner in his “Ships, Sea Songs and Shanties(Glasgow, James Brown & Son, Publishers, 1910), mentioned is that: “The motive of this favorite sea song is very old indeed, and A-Rovin’ (A2) appears (in slightly varying forms) in many writings, e.g., in Thomas Heywood’s Rape of Lucrece (first performed in London in 1630).

Additionally worth noting, Stanley Slade with a male chorus sang A-Roving in the BBC recording 6018 made in Bristol on 2 July 1943. This track was included in 1955 in the “Columbia anthology The World Library of Folk and Primitive Music: England”, certainly one of the most beautiful, (from the musical point of view), performances of this song ever.

Is a version taken from “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill, name of the version is: A-Rovin’ (a), is printed on page 46 (US Edition published in 1994 by Mystic Seaport). But the beginning of this melody is from the first edition of the book from the beginning of page 50 (between versions b and c, ok I know it sounds complicated, haha but it’s true). W. B. Whall, Master Mariner in his “Ships, Sea Songs and Shanties(Glasgow, James Brown & Son, Publishers, 1910), mentioned is that: “The motive of this favorite sea song is very old indeed, and appears (in slightly varying forms) in many writings, e.g., in Thomas Heywood’s Rape of Lucrece (first performed in London in 1630).

The source of this sea shanty

The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 48, 49).

The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 48, 49).

The Record of the A-Rovin’ (A2)

As far as I’m aware the record of this song sung by Stan Hugill didn’t survive. The oldest record I found is A-Rovin’ (Recorded 1947) by Leonard Warren.

… A-Rovin was originally sung at the pumps and old-fashioned windlass. In both labors – at the pump and at the windlass – two long leavers were worked up and down by the men: a back-breaking job. … Stan Hugill.

You also can find this record on my YouTube channel here or directly listen below. Additionally, if you want to share your opinion about the record or share your opinion you can do it in my Facebook forum here, or leave a comment at the bottom of this blog article.

NOTE! – this tempo is a little too quick for work on pumps, the next version will be slightly slower much closer to actual work on “Downton – pump”.

The musical notation

a-rovin-a2 - sea shanty musical notation

The full lyrics

A-ROVIN’ ( B ) – Pump Shanty
(alternate titles: Amsterdam or The Maid of Amsterdam)

In Amsterdam there lived a maid
And she was mistress of her trade
We’ll go no more a-rovin’ with you fair maid
– A-rovin’, a-rovin’, since rovin’s bin me overthrow,
– We’ll go no more a-rovin’ with you fair maid

* 2 *

One night I crept from my abode
To meet this fair maid down the road.
We’ll go no more a-rovin’ with you, fair maid.

– A-rovin’, a-rovin’, since rovin’s bin me overthrow,
– We’ll go no more a-rovin’ with you fair maid

* 3 *

I met this fair maid after dark,
An’ took her to her favourite park.

* 4 *

I took this fair maid for a walk,
An’ we had such a lovin’ talk.

* 5 *

I put me arm around her waist,
Sez she, ‘Young man, yer in great haste!’

* 6 *

I put me hand upon her knee,
Sez she, ‘Young man, yer rather free!’

* 7 *

I put me hand upon her thigh,
Sez she, ‘Young man, yer rather high!’

* 8 *

I towed her to the Maiden’s Breast,
From south the wind veered wes’sou’west [sou’sou’west].

* 9 *

An’ the eyes in her head turned east an’ west,
And her thoughts wuz as deep as an ol’ sea-chest.

* 10 *

We had a drink—of grub a snatch,
We sent two bottles down the hatch.

* 11 *

Her dainty arms wuz white as milk,
Her lovely hair wus soft as silk
.

* 12 *

Her heart wuz poundin’ like a drum,
Her lips wuz red as any plum.

* 13 *

We laid down on a grassy patch,
An’ I felt such a ruddy ass.

* 14 *

She pushed me over on me back,
She laughed so hard her lips did crack.

* 15 *

She swore that she’d be true to me,
But spent me pay-day fast and free.

* 16 *

In three weeks’ time I wuz badly bent,
Then off to sea I sadly went.

Related to this sea shanty …

A-Rovin’ (A)

A -Rovin’ (B)

A- Rovin’ (C)

A-Rovin’ (D)

Go Roving (Capstan Song for the Christiania Packet)

Stan Hugill – Shanties and Sailors’ Songs (1969)

Book description…

Stan Hugill’s book – Shanties and Sailors’ Songs, was published in 1969 (Herbert Jenkins Ltd). Generally, if you are interested in shanties and maritime culture, this is an excellent book for you, no matter what level of knowledge you have mastered, you will enjoy this book. Due to the fact, that Stan Hugill was a sailor and shantyman, he tells us many interesting things in this book. Worth noting, this is just a songbook, in fact, only half of this book are containing songs.

Starting from the end…

So first vile, the shanties and forebitters you can find in the second half of the book. Worth to point out, that this book is written in a very characteristic and typical way for Stan Hugill, namely: “Page for description – page for a song”. So, each song contains a very extended description that highlights the history of the song. We can find there, the way how sung, and the specific vocabulary. As an example of how amazing these descriptions are, let me give you one example. An example of a super detailed description can be shanty “Ranzo”. We can read in this description even about the Polish accent that the title “Ranzo” was a Polish Jew.

Sources amount of Stan Hugill – Shanties and Sailors’ Songs …

To point out, this book contains over 40 great sea shanties, several of each type. So we can learn about all types of work in relation to the shanties accompanying these works.

The first part of this book presents the types of sea shanties. Book to a huge extent contains descriptions of shanties. Also, contain descriptions of the work environment depending on the type of shanty used. So, we will learn about, among others, shanties for windlass, capstan, pump (brake and Downton), halyard, stamp ‘n go, etc.

The amount of knowledge contains in this book really impressed me. The book also contains illustrations done by an author. Those illustrations show us, sailors, in the action when they work and sing shanty.

Do you want to be more involved? …

You can find excellent records of sea shanties here. If you want to discuss this book or share your opinion you can do it in my Facebook forum here, or below post in the comment section.

Related to Stan Hugill – Shanties and Sailors’ Songs …

Additional Stan Hugill’s books Sailortown (1967), Sea Shanties (1977), Songs Of The Sea (1977).

A-Rovin’ (B)

Interesting Facts about A-Rovin’ (B)

At first, Anderson, the Scottish carpenter already mentioned, said that in his ship – one of Vickers’ big four-masters from Liverpool – the usual method of singing A-Rovin’ (B) was as follows.

Note the omission of the refrain “Mark well what I do say!”

Due to my research, I discover a big mismatch in speed on how the shanties are sung in nova days. So the first question is what type of pump has been used when sailors sang this sea shanty, Stan Hugill talks about the “Downton” pump, so I did research everywhere to find the movie showing sailors at work, and it was only one that looks sensible to me is the movie you can find on YouTube with the title “Traditional bilge pump worked on James Craig tall ship“.

To explain, In this type of pump such as A-Rovin’ (B), sailors installed on the ends of bars ropes (bell-rope), to make the job easier by taking more sailors involved in pumping. In this 0.25 min of this super unique movie, you can watch real pumping with bell ropes: bell ropes pumping work – this will be a template to me when I will sing all “Downton” Shanties such as “Lowlands” family, “Strike The Bell” and so on.

The source of this sea shanty

The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 49).

The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 48, 49).

The Record of the A-Rovin’ (B)

Afterward here record of this beautiful shanty, with a presentation to proxy actual work on the pump.

To conclude this version will be sung as exact as possible (probably forgotten decades ago), with tempo and way of singing pump shanty.

You also can find this record on my YouTube channel here or directly listen below. Additionally, if you want to share your opinion about the record or share your opinion you can do it in my Facebook forum here, or leave a comment at the bottom of this blog article.

The musical notation

a-rovin-b - sea shanty musical notation

The full lyrics

A-ROVIN’ ( B ) – Pump Shanty
(alternate titles: Amsterdam or The Maid of Amsterdam)

In Amsterdam there lived a maid
And she was mistress of her trade
We’ll go no more a-rovin’ with you fair maid
– A-rovin’, a-rovin’, since rovin’s bin me overthrow,
– We’ll go no more a-rovin’ with you fair maid

* 2 *

One night I crept from my abode
To meet this fair maid down the road.
We’ll go no more a-rovin’ with you, fair maid.

– A-rovin’, a-rovin’, since rovin’s bin me overthrow,
– We’ll go no more a-rovin’ with you fair maid

* 3 *

I met this fair maid after dark,
An’ took her to her favourite park.

* 4 *

I took this fair maid for a walk,
An’ we had such a lovin’ talk.

* 5 *

I put me arm around her waist,
Sez she, ‘Young man, yer in great haste!’

* 6 *

I put me hand upon her knee,
Sez she, ‘Young man, yer rather free!’

* 7 *

I put me hand upon her thigh,
Sez she, ‘Young man, yer rather high!’

* 8 *

I towed her to the Maiden’s Breast,
From south the wind veered wes’sou’west [sou’sou’west].

* 9 *

An’ the eyes in her head turned east an’ west,
And her thoughts wuz as deep as an ol’ sea-chest.

* 10 *

We had a drink—of grub a snatch,
We sent two bottles down the hatch.

* 11 *

Her dainty arms wuz white as milk,
Her lovely hair wus soft as silk
.

* 12 *

Her heart wuz poundin’ like a drum,
Her lips wuz red as any plum.

* 13 *

We laid down on a grassy patch,
An’ I felt such a ruddy ass.

* 14 *

She pushed me over on me back,
She laughed so hard her lips did crack.

* 15 *

She swore that she’d be true to me,
But spent me pay-day fast and free.

* 16 *

In three weeks’ time I wuz badly bent,
Then off to sea I sadly went.

Related to this sea shanty

A-Rovin’ (A)

A-Rovin’ (A2)

A- Rovin’ (C)

A-Rovin’ (D)

Go Roving (Capstan Song for the Christiania Packet)

A-Rovin’ (A)

Interesting Facts about the A-Rovin’ (A)

Source of the sea shanty

This is another sea shanty I do recreate here is the version I took from the book “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill, the name of the version of this shanty is “A-Rovin’ (A)”, which is printed on page 46 of the mentioned book (US Edition published in 1994 by Mystic Seaport).

W. B. Whall, Master Mariner in his “Ships, Sea Songs and Shanties(Glasgow, James Brown & Son, Publishers, 1910), mentioned is that: “The motive of this favorite sea song is very old indeed, and appears (in slightly varying forms) in many writings, e.g., in Thomas Heywood’s Rape of Lucrece (first performed in London in 1630).

About the title is worth mentioning that A-Rovin’ also is known under the title “Maid of Amsterdam”, the roots of this song are as old as the possible origin of this beautiful shanty, which is the narrative poem “The Rape of Lucrece” by Thomas Heywood, dated on 1630.

Distinguish record

Additionally worth noting, Stanley Slade with a male chorus sang A-Roving in the BBC recording 6018 made in Bristol on 2 July 1943. This track was included in 1955 in the “Columbia anthology The World Library of Folk and Primitive Music: England”, certainly one of the most beautiful, (from the musical point of view), performances of this song ever.

Additionally, as far as I’m aware, unfortunately for us, Stan Hugill did not leave us the record of this song. Also, the oldest record I found is A-Rovin’ (Recorded 1947) by Leonard Warren.

… As has been noted, A-Rovin was originally sung at the pumps and old-fashioned windlass. In both labors – at the pump and at the windlass – two long leavers were worked up and down by the men: a back-breaking job. … Stan Hugill.

The source of this sea shanty

The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 48, 49).

The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 48, 49).

The Record of the A-Rovin’ (A)

Afterward here record of this beautiful shanty, recorded by me on the 6th of June 2020, and this was my first conscious tryout of the sang shanty as authentically and genuinely as possible.

You also can find this record on my YouTube channel here or directly listen below. Additionally, if you want to share your opinion about the record or share your opinion you can do it in my Facebook forum here, or leave a comment at the bottom of this blog article.

The musical notation

a-rovin-a - sea shanty musical notation

The full lyrics

A-Rovin’ (A) – Pump Shanty

In Amsterdam there lived a maid,
– Mark well what I do say!
In Amsterdam there lived a maid,
An’ she wuz mistress of her trade,
– We’ll go no more a-ro-o-vin’ with you fair maid.

A-rovin’, a-rovin’,
– Since rovin’s bin my ru-i-in,
– We’ll go no more a-rovin’,
– With you fair maid.

* 2 *

One night I crept from my abode,
– Mark well what I do say!
One night I crept from my abode,
To meet this fair maid down the road.
– We’ll go no more a-ro-o-vin’ with you fair maid.

– A-rovin’, a-rovin’…

* 3 *

I met this fair maid after dark,
An’ took her to her favourite park.

* 4 *

I took this fair maid for a walk,
An’ we had such a lovin’ talk.

* 5 *

I put me arm around her waist,
Sez she, “Young man, yer in great haste!”

* 6 *

I put me hand upon her knee,
Sez she, “Young man, yer rather free!”

* 7 *

I put my hand upon her thigh,
Sez she, “Young man, yer rather high!”

* 8 *

I towed her to the Maiden’s Breast,
From south the wind veered wes’sou’west

* 9 *

An’ the eyes in her head turned east an’ west,
And her thoughts wuz as deep as an ol’ sea-chest.

* 10 *

We had a drink – of grub a snatch,
We sent two bottles down the hatch.

* 11 *

Her dainty arms wuz white as milk,
Her lovely hair wuz soft as silk.

* 12 *

Her heart wuz poundin’ like a drum,
Her lips wuz red as any plum.

* 13 *

We laid down on a grassy patch,
An’ I felt such a ruddy ass.

* 14 *

She pushed me over on me back,
She laughed so hard her lips did crack.

* 15 *

She swore that she’d be true to me,
But spent me pay-day fast and free.

* 16 *

In three weeks’ time I wuz badly bent,
Then off to sea I sadly went.

* 17 *

In a bloodboat Yank bound round Cape Horn,
Me boots an’ clothes wuz all in pawn.

* 18 *

Bound round Cape Stiff through ice an’ snow,
An’ up the coast to Callyo.

* 19 *

An’ then back to the Liverpool Docks,
Saltpetre stowed in our boots an’ socks.

* 20 *

Now when I got back home from sea,
A soger had her on his knee.

Related to this sea shanty

A-Rovin’ (A2)

A -Rovin’ (B)

A- Rovin’ (C)

A-Rovin’ (D)

Go Roving (Capstan Song for the Christiania Packet)