So, I had the blues one night. Rather, I was delving into the origins of the blues. A common element is "call and response", and can be traced to West African work songs, but also Sea Shanties. It strikes me that call and response songs are probably common to all cultures that had to co-ordinate work amoung a group.
The Blues is all about cultural appropriation. Maybe the overseers of slaves, having a maritime background, used the shanties to coordinate work by slaves, and African Americans adopted it, mixed it with thier traditions, transforming it into the blues that skinny English kids wanted to play so bad and usually did, many years later. I'm not sure there's a way of finding out, for sure.
But, shanties are about work, and many of us here are working class, so it's something we should know about.
Uninterestingly enough, there are types of Shanties, different tunes for different types of work.
There was the long haul or halyard shanty, for work that was long in duration. And example would be "blow the man down." A good version of which I could not find on youtube. Perhaps an example of this is "Blood Red Roses", by Sting, no less:
Here's a good example of a short haul, Haul Away Joe:
Instinctively, you know when to pull, don't you?
But hauling wasn't the only job on a ship. There was also raising the anchor with a capstan, and here's the shanty for that: (ignore the cheesy anime)
Of course, we're familiar with "What do we do with a drunken Sailor?" Which was a stamp and go shanty, for large crews and long work.
And if ye didn't know enough to pull on "way hey up she rises" I'd feed ya to the sharks.
There were pumping songs, of course. Probably the most famous of which is "Barnicle Bill the Sailor", and it's progenitor, "Bollocky Bill the Sailor". There are no rude enough versions available on youtube to make it worth posting here. The hell with you tube, we won't get screwed, said bollocky Bill the Sailor.
Lastly ye lubbers are probably familiar with Quint's musical lament in "Jaws". This wasn't a work song, per se, but a f'c's'le song, sung for recreation off watch. I chose this one, not because it has fine polished harmonies, but because it doesn't. Just a bunch of guys, singing.
Farewell and adieu, my fine babble ladies.