Reuben Ranzo – Hugills version

Interesting Facts about the Reuben Ranzo – Hugills version

Now, Reuben Ranzo – Hugills version is a shanty built around the dirtiest “sailor” who ever shipped – Reuben Ranzo. This Halyard shanty was one of the most rousing of all of the halyard shanties. This shanty due to the some of the themes was very popular amongst whalers.

An intriguing fact about this song was theories about who it was the Reuben Ranzo, some shanty collectors have different theories about it. So namely were four theories:
1 – He was a native of the Azores, of Portuguese descent, and shipped in a whaler.
2 – He was a famous Danish hero of the sixteen century, a certain Daniel Rantzau.
3 – C. F. Smith claimed it was a Russian or Polish Jew with a name like Ronzoff – his “Christian” name of Reuben would certainly suit the bill.
4 – He was American Latin, a “greenhorn”, hence his first name “Reuben” – “Reub” or “Rube” is still used in the States to mean yokel or farmer.
This is the Stan Hugill version it is the combination of the verses given from A. Spencer, ex-American barque “Monongahela” and the Bosun of the “Garthpool”.

The source of this sea shanty

The music: “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 240).

The lyrics:  “Shanties from the Seven Seas” by Stan Hugill (1st ed p 240, 241, 242).

The Record of the Reuben Ranzo – Hugills version

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.

Reuben Ranzo (Hugills version) - Halyard Shanty

The musical notation

Reuben Ranzo - Hugills version - notation

The full lyrics

Reuben Ranzo – Hugills version

Oooh! poor ol’ Reuben Ranzo
– RANZO, boys, RANZO!
Ooh! poor ol’ Reuben Ranzo
– RANZO, boys, RANZO!

* 2 *

Oh, Ranzo wuz no sailor,
He wuz a New York tailor,

* 3 *

Though Ranzo wuz no sailor,
He shipped aboard of a whaler.

* 4 *

The ‘Pierre Loti’ wuz a whaler,
But Ranzo wuz no sailor.

* 5 *

Ranzo joined ‘Pierre Loti’,
Did no’ know his dooty.

* 6 *

Shanghaied aboard of a whaler,
They tried to make him a sailor.

* 7 *

Ranzo couldn’t steer ‘er—
Did ye ever know anything queerer?

* 8 *

The mate he wuz a dandy,
Far too fond o’ brandy.

* 9 *

Put him holystonin’,
An’ cared not for his groanin’.

* 10 *

They said he wuz a lubber,
And made him eat whale-blubber.

* 11 *

He washed once in a fortnight,
He said it wuz his birthright.

* 12 *

They took him to the gangway,
An’ gave him lashes twenty.

* 13 *

They gave him lashes twenty,
Nineteen more than plenty.

* 14 *

They gave him lashes thirty,
Because he wuz so dirty.

* 15 *

Reuben Ranzo fainted,
His back with oil wuz painted.

* 16 *

The Capen gave him thirty,
His daughter begged for mercy.

* 17 *

She took him to the cabin,
An’ tried to ease his achin’

* 18 *

She gave him cake an’ water,
An’ a bit more than she oughter.

* 19 *

She gave him rum an’ whisky,
Which made him feel damn frisky.

* 20 *

She taught him navigation,
An’ gave him eddication.

* 21 *

They gave him an extra ratin’
An’ made him fit for his station.

* 22 *

They made him the best sailor,
Sailin’ on that whaler.

* 23 *

Ranzo now the skipper
Of a Yankee whaler

* 24 *

An’ when he gets a sailor,
Who’s iggerant on a whaler,

* 25 *

He takes him to his cabin,
An’ larns him navigatin’.

* 26 *

He married the Old Man’s daughter,
An’ still sails on blue water.

* 27 *

He’s known wherever them whalefish blow
As the toughest bastard on the go.

* 28 *

Hurrah for Reuben Ranzo,
Hurrah for Captain Ranzo!

Related to this sea shanty

Oh Blow Ye Winds I Like To Hear You

Blow Boys Blow (Norwegian)

Roll The Cotton Down (C) – Halyard Version