Rio Grande (B)

Interesting Facts about the Rio Grande (B)

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”. According to Stans Hugill’s research, the Rio Grande includes Rio Grande (B). These shanty sailors sang at most on the decks of ships leaving the West Coast of England, and Wales than in any other vessels.
The Rio Grande merchant sailors sang always at the anchor capstan or windlass and were an outward-bound song.

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

How the Shantyman were chosen?

Looking up from his sidelong inspection of the dripping links of the anchor chain as one by one they slowly emerge from the muddy surface of the water, the mate, clapping his hands to his mouth and with a roar like the Bull of Basham, queries, “Who’s the bloody nightingale among yer? Aw ye men or aw ye cawpses? If there’s ruddy shantyman among yer lot of hobos, fer Gawd’s sake strike a light, will yer!”

In answer to this challenge, from the cavernous throat of some true son of a Neptune comes the hurricane reply:

   "Oh, say wuz ye niver darn Ri-i-o Grande?"

The refrain, a bit seedyat first, comes from half of the heaving men:

   "Wa-a-ay darn Ri-O!"

The self-imposed shantyman now really gets into his stride:

   "Ooh! Them smart senioritas, they sure beats the band!"

And the sailormen, taking heart, bring in a fuller and beefier refrain:

  "Ror we're barnd for the Ri-i-o Grande!"

A satisfied smile crosses the lips of the mate. He’s got a good crowd; the shanty tells him that. “When the men sing right, the ship goes right” was the old sea adage.

Stan Hugill – “Sea Shanties!”

The source of this sea shanty

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

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

The Record

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

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 B - Capstan Shanty

The full lyrics

Rio Grande B

Oh, say wuz ye ever down Rio Grande?
– Way for Rio!
It’s there that the river flows down golden sands.
– 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 bound for the Rio Grande

* 2 *

So heave up the anchor, let’s get it aweigh,
It’s got a good grip, so heave, bullies, ‘way-ay!

* 3 *

Oh, where are yiz bound to my bully boys all?
An’ where are yiz bound for to make yer landfall?

* 4 *

We’re bound to the south’ard me bully boys all,
Bound out to the Brazils, me bully boys all.

* 5 *

An’ what’ll ye do there, me bully boys all?
What job will ye do there, me bully boys all?

* 6 *

We’ll dig for red gold, oh, me bully boys all,
We’ll dig for a fortune, me bully boys all.

* 7 *

Or die o’ the fever, me bully boys all,
Or die o’ the fever, me bully boys all.

* 8 *

Heave with a will boys, oh, heave long an’ strong,
Sing a good chorus, for ’tis a good song.

Related to the Rio Grande (B)

Rio. Grande (A)


Et Nous Irons a Valparaiso

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