South Australia


This is a jaunty little number and Jon is unsure of his source saying “I think I learnt it from Daniel Jacks on FSC, but it may have been from an anonymous shanty album. A great shanty it is none the less.” This Wiki page is useful referring to it as a halyard shanty, but having got these things wrong before I’d invite a more expert opinion than either that or my own. It seems to have been a popular one with the sailors themselves, which may or may not have anything to do with the alternate recordings down the years At the bottom of the Wiki page is a link to Show Of Hands and Fishermen’s Friends doing this on YouTube, which seems to work.


17 Responses to “South Australia”

  1. Simon Dewsbury says:

    As usual with the uptempo songs, I like the forward propulsion that Jon injects into this. However, I do think this one really benefits from having a chorus for the response, as was originally the purpose. I’m sure if he’d asked Fishermen’s Friends nicely…

    Anyway, on to much more frivolous matters. I regularly update the podcast onto my MP3 player, which has decided that I should listen to the songs in alphabetical order – so on scrolling down I can easily see how close we are to having a full A-Z of song titles. At present we’re missing only U, V, X and Z. I expect that U and V will appear in due course, but I can’t think of any folk songs that start with X or Z. does any body have any suggestions? I suppose I could do some Mudcat research but I’d rather see if anyone on the blog can contribute. Might there be a song with literary pretensions which is all about Zephyrs? Or a shanty set in the china seas about Xinjiang? Just wondering.

  2. muzza says:

    Bit of a panic yesterday when AFSAD was not up..This is a good old chorus song…phew!

  3. Reinhard says:

    The list of songs and tunes on my site currently has 2122 entries, but the only one starting with Z is a jig, not a song. And I have no X entry at all. I’m sorry to be of no help here, Simon.

  4. Phil says:

    I told you this one was a cracker.

  5. Simon Dewsbury says:

    thanks Reinhard, I suspected that that might be the case.

  6. SRD says:

    Another one that was regularly sung by Skinner’s Rats at Farningham.

  7. Susan Churchman says:

    As a resident of South Australia, I felt I had to comment on this one. It is SA’s proud boast that it was never a convict colony, unlike all the other early settlements in Australia. Its foundation on December 28 1836 marked the arrival of a group of ambitious English colonists who had purchased land, sight unseen, through the South Australia Company. So the wool and wheat carried back to English markets on clipper ships were the products of free settlers who became quite affluent, giving rise to what are now known as the OAFs (Old Adelaide Families). Wheat is still a signficant SA export today, along with seafood and wine, and increasingly uranium – so ships still come here from the other side of the world, although probably not with such jaunty singing! That is now to be found at WomAdelaide, where John once appeared as part of the Ratcatchers.

  8. Tobysails says:

    Yet another great song.
    Whilst I am no expert, this one is clearly a halliard shanty. It is vital that the crew on both sides of the ship haul on the halliards evenly, otherwise the yard will be raised ‘cocked up’. Those hauling cannot look at the yard while they pull so the percussive nature of the song gives them the rhythm and speed of the pull and a mate or bosun oversees the whole event. Capstan shanties are of course at walking pace.

  9. Sarah says:

    Ended up humming this one all day!

  10. Jane Ramsden says:

    Cracking lad! I think Fisherman’s Fiends would be glad to have you.. hahahaha!

  11. Chloe Dunn says:

    Love it, and everything this project stands for

  12. Diana says:

    Love these sea shanties!

  13. John Biggs (Welsh Marches) says:

    Now THAT is how to belt out a shanty !

  14. Jane Ramsden says:

    Love this one and all the info given above, so thanks all, esp Jon, who did well to belt this out on his tod when Fisherman’s Fiends number at least ten!

    And here they are, singing unaccompanied on QVC channel to sell their album (hint for Bellowhead!) I saw this as it went out live, and very good it is too!

    And again with my faves Show of Hands & audience participation. Isn’t folk good, when every version of every song has its own difference? Yee-ha!

  15. Diana says:

    Love this one – another great sea shanty and done my others well too.

  16. Old Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    Welll………the site was hit by a bug over the last several days but thanks to Lindy Lou for getting it fixed with her friends in high places……phew!

  17. Timbo says:

    Familiar from The Pogues instrument driven version; the Fisherman’s Friends version is more traditional, but loving how Jon can handle a shanty as a solo vocal.

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