Shenandoah – heaving shanties family

Here list of this shanties family

  1. Shenandoah A
  2. Shenandoah B
  3. Shenandoah – Bullen
  4. Shenandoah C
  5. Shenandoah D

This is one of the most popular of all capstan and windlass shanties, the “Shenandoah” – heaving shanties family. Those songs were always sung at the anchor capstan or windlass.

By windlass, I mean anchor windlass when pulling the anchor happens in the way of raise-up levers on both sides of the device. By moving up and down, the mechanism spins the anchor or line, and each move pulls the anchor about a couple of inches. Below image of old fashion windlass.

Capstan windlass

The other way of using these songs was at the capstan 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, but 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.

crew in front of the capstan

Interesting Facts about the Shenandoah – heaving shanties family

The interesting fact according to Stan Hugill is that no two shantymen ever sang the same pronunciation of the word “Shenandoah”. Shenandoar, Shannandore, Shanandar, and Shanidah were all used.

The version (A) — of Negro — origin, what Stan Hugill obtained from coloured cook (doctor) of the “Birkdale”, which had sailed for many years in the “Dales”, and in the “Invers” of the Milne Line of sailing ship.

My private collection of books

Shantyman library –  you will see descriptions and recommendations of positions worth diving into, true sources of knowledge about sea shanties. To gain knowledge about sea shanties is the main ultimate purpose of this library, every book in this library is somehow related to sea shanties and before mast songs.

More involvement in Traditional Sea Shanties

You can find this record here or directly listen below. If you want to discuss the record or share your opinion you can do it in my Facebook forum here.