Blow Ye Winds – Heaving Shanties

Interesting Facts about the Blow Ye Winds – Heaving Shanties

Blow Ye Winds – Heaving Shanties are a family of songs with the word “Blow” in their title. But this time does not refer to the Packet Rats’ used meaning. These songs were used for raising the anchor on the capstan.

The capstan was used later on sailing ships. It was a vertical-axled rotating machine developed for use on sailing ships to multiply the pulling force of seamen when hauling ropes. The capstan was used for multiple pulling (heaving) jobs. However, raising the capstan was the heaviest job so the tempo was the slowest used on capstans. Below image of the capstan working on its sailors.

On this occasion, I will show you a few versions of the “Blow Ye Winds” shanty described by Stan Hugill in his “Shanties From the Seven Seas”. I hope it brings you closet to the notion of how they were used at the capstan. all video reconstructions tried to direct the listener to how they sounded in actual ship deck action when sailors used it.

The above image displays sailors working at a capstan.

Here list of the Blow Ye Winds – Family

  1. Blow. Ye Winds (A)
  2. Blow Ye Winds (B)
  3. Blow Ye Winds (extra verses)
  4. Blow ye winds of morning

Short story of this shanties family

Richard Runciman Terry says that this is only one example of the Sea Song; which became popular at sea as shanties. Interestingly enough is that Terry and also Cecil Sharp took their versions from the same shantymen, Mr. Short of Watchet, Somerset. In terms of antiquity that worth noting that several shore version exists as well – some very ancient.