My galloping Randy Dandy O

Posted by Junius on April 23, 2005

Some sea captains, before shipping a man, always asked him whether he could sing out 'sea shanties' that were the work songs used on the square-rigged ships of the Age of Sail. Their rhythms coordinated the efforts of many sailors hauling on lines. Much loved by modern sailors and folk musicians, they are rarely used as work songs today. This is because modern rigging doesn't require many people to be working in the same rhythm for long periods. Traditional shanties can be grouped into three types: short haul shanties, for tasks requiring quick pulls over a relatively short time; halyard shanties, for heavier work requiring more setup time between pulls; and capstan shanties, for long, repetitive tasks requiring a sustained rhythm, but not involving working the lines, and here is an example:

Galloping Randy Dandy O!
(Traditional, odd lines by lead singer and even lines by the rest of sailors, marked with *asterisk)

Lead: Now we're warping her into the docks,
*Chorus:W ay aye, roll and go!

Where the pretty young girls come down in flocks,
*My galloping Randy Dandy O!

Heave and pull and heave away,
*Way aye, roll and go!

The anchor's aboard and the cables are stowed,
*My galloping Randy Dandy O!

Now we are ready to head for the Horn,
*Way, ay, roll an' go!

Our boots and our clothes, boys, are all in the pawn
*Timme rollickin' randy dandy O!)

+ and a variation:
With a high ro! and a randy ro!
my galloping tearing randy O!

Can anybody familiar with sea shanties and traditional folk songs help with meaning or maybe tell us where to find a good glossary for these terms (galloping Randy Dandy O, Timme rollickin' etc) and this type of songs?

Many thanks.