Rio Grande (A)

Interesting Facts about the Rio Grande (A)

This is one of the most popular shanty families in the days of sail It was not the Mexican Rio Grande about which they were singing but the one further south in Brazil; not “Rio Grande del Nord” but “Rio Grande do Sul”. Additionally, the reference in some versions like the Rio Grande (A) of the song to “Golden Sand”; whether taken literally or symbolically; applies to the southern Brazilian tiver and port. Both banks of the Brazilian Great River, are heaped high with sand dunes. In the past, gold was a commodity found in this district.

According to Stan Hugill, the Rio Grande was always sung at the work anchor capstan or windlass. The song was an outward-bound song. The last three verses from 15-17 are the other Liverpool Stanzas mentioned by Stan Hugill.

The song will be reconstructed by myself as the capstan shanty.

The source of this sea shanty

The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 90, 91).

The lyrics: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 90, 91).

The Record

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.

Rio Grande A - Capstan Shanty

The musical notation

rio-grande-a music notation

The full lyrics

Rio Grande A

Oh, a ship went a-sailin’ out over the Bar,
– Way for Rio!
They’ve pointed her bow to the Southern Star,
– An’ we’re bound for the Rio Grande!

– Then away, bullies away!
– Away for Rio!
– Sing fare-ye-well, me Liverpool gels,
– An’ we’re boun
; for the Rio Grande!

* 2 *

Oh, say wuz ye niver down Rio Grande?
Them smart senoritas, they sure beats the band.

* 3 *

We wuz sick of the beach when our money wuz gone,
So we signed in this packet to drive her along.

* 4 *

There’s some of us sick, there’s some of us sore,
We’ve scoffed all our whack an’ we’re looking for more.

* 5 *

Our anchor we’ll weigh an’ the rags we will set,
Them Liverpool judies we’ll never forget.

* 6 *

Ye parkee Lane judies we’ll ‘ave ye to know,
We’re bound to the south’ard, oh, Lord let us go!

* 7 *

Oh, pack up yer donkeys an’ git under way,
Them judies we’re leavin’ will git our half-pay.

* 8 *

Cheer up, Mary Ellen, now don’t look so glum,
On white-stockin’ day ye’ll be drinkin’ hot rum.

* 9 *

We’re a deep-water ship with a deep-water crew;
Ye can stick to the coast, but I’m damned if we do,

* 10 *

It’s goodbye to Ellen an’ sweet Molly too,
Ye Parkee Lane chowlahs, ’tis goodbye to you.

* 11 *

Now blow, ye winds westerly, long may ye blow,
We’re a starvation packet–Good God let us go!

* 12 *

Saltfish an’ lobscouse for the next ‘alf year,
She’s a Liverpool pocket an’ her Ol’ Man’s the gear.

* 13 *

Them Liverpool judies they never use combs,
They combout their locks with a haddock’s backbone.

* 14 *

Heve only one pawl, then ‘vast havin’, me sons,
Sing only one chorus – it’s blowin’ big guns!

*Other Liverpool Stanzas*

* 15 *

An’ now we are leavin’ the sweet Salthouse Dock,
An’ soon we’ll be oh a-roundin’ the Rock.

* 16 *

We’re a Liverpool ship wid a Liverpool crew
Wid a Liverpool mate an’ an Old Man too.

* 17 *

We’re Liverpool born, an’ Liverpool bred,
Oh, thick in the arm, an’ thick in the head!

Related to the Rio Grande (A)

A Long Time Ago (C)


Et Nous Irons a Valparaiso

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