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I give up. What's a HOGEYE?

DigiTrad:
HOG-EYE MAN
THE LIFEBOAT MAN


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Hogseye Man (39)
Lyr Req: Peggy in the garden? / Hog-Eye Man (2)
Lyr Add: Predecessor song to 'Hogeye Man' (29)
Lyr Req: Dirty Hog eye man? (57)
Hogeyed man (16)


Margo 04 Jun 99 - 01:29 PM
Dave Swan 04 Jun 99 - 02:27 PM
Margo 04 Jun 99 - 02:51 PM
Bert 04 Jun 99 - 03:00 PM
SeanM 04 Jun 99 - 03:30 PM
Art Thieme 04 Jun 99 - 03:45 PM
The Shambles 04 Jun 99 - 04:07 PM
Bert 04 Jun 99 - 04:11 PM
The Shambles 04 Jun 99 - 04:13 PM
Matthew B. 04 Jun 99 - 04:58 PM
SeanM 04 Jun 99 - 05:04 PM
Matthew B. 04 Jun 99 - 05:34 PM
catspaw49 04 Jun 99 - 08:19 PM
rich r 04 Jun 99 - 10:32 PM
DonMeixner 04 Jun 99 - 11:32 PM
Murray on Saltspring 04 Jun 99 - 11:41 PM
Margo 05 Jun 99 - 02:21 PM
Liam's Brother 05 Jun 99 - 06:18 PM
Mark Cohen 05 Jun 99 - 09:59 PM
gargoyle 05 Jun 99 - 11:03 PM
The Shambles 06 Jun 99 - 07:39 AM
Matthew B. 06 Jun 99 - 12:14 PM
Margo 06 Jun 99 - 12:52 PM
Matthew B. 06 Jun 99 - 08:43 PM
GutBucketeer 06 Jun 99 - 11:06 PM
Barry Finn 07 Jun 99 - 12:01 AM
Margo 07 Jun 99 - 01:04 AM
Barry Finn 07 Jun 99 - 01:18 AM
Bill in Alabama 07 Jun 99 - 07:44 AM
Steve Parkes 07 Jun 99 - 08:07 AM
Steve Parkes 07 Jun 99 - 08:10 AM
The Shambles 07 Jun 99 - 09:15 AM
Steve Parkes 07 Jun 99 - 10:55 AM
Margo 07 Jun 99 - 11:29 AM
Matthew B. 07 Jun 99 - 02:04 PM
gargoyle 08 Jun 99 - 12:47 AM
Jon W. 08 Jun 99 - 03:42 PM
Chris Seymour 21 Nov 99 - 09:00 AM
Abby Sale 21 Nov 99 - 10:45 AM
Jeri 21 Nov 99 - 11:39 AM
Micca 21 Nov 99 - 02:02 PM
Jeri 21 Nov 99 - 02:34 PM
Melbert 21 Nov 99 - 03:49 PM
Micca 21 Nov 99 - 06:56 PM
Wotcha 22 Nov 99 - 11:36 AM
BanjoRay 22 Nov 99 - 08:00 PM
AKS 23 Nov 99 - 01:54 AM
Chris Seymour 25 Mar 00 - 01:02 PM
Amos 25 Mar 00 - 01:16 PM
Lin in Kansas 25 Mar 00 - 03:52 PM
paddymac 25 Mar 00 - 08:02 PM
W y s i w y G ! 25 Mar 00 - 10:03 PM
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Kim C 28 Mar 00 - 02:05 PM
Margo 28 Mar 00 - 02:18 PM
GUEST,Jim Dixon 28 Mar 00 - 07:30 PM
Art Thieme 28 Mar 00 - 08:18 PM
W y s i w y G ! 29 Mar 00 - 01:43 AM
Jacob B 29 Mar 00 - 12:19 PM
Chris Seymour 30 Mar 00 - 09:57 PM
GUEST,bt 07 Oct 04 - 02:26 PM
frogprince 07 Oct 04 - 03:00 PM
frogprince 07 Oct 04 - 03:05 PM
Jack Hickman 07 Oct 04 - 03:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Oct 04 - 03:45 PM
Stewie 07 Oct 04 - 07:43 PM
Bernard 07 Oct 04 - 08:10 PM
Q 07 Oct 04 - 09:02 PM
The Fooles Troupe 07 Oct 04 - 09:06 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 07 Oct 04 - 09:17 PM
Q 07 Oct 04 - 09:46 PM
Auggie 07 Oct 04 - 10:07 PM
Q 07 Oct 04 - 11:20 PM
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Tannywheeler 08 Oct 04 - 11:53 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Oct 04 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 08 Oct 04 - 11:07 PM
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Q 23 May 08 - 01:56 PM
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Dave Hanson 19 Jun 10 - 11:18 AM
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frogprince 19 Jun 10 - 01:55 PM
Dave Hanson 19 Jun 10 - 03:48 PM
Tannywheeler 20 Jun 10 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,crew enterprize Australia 14 Mar 12 - 08:46 AM
Gurney 14 Mar 12 - 03:11 PM
GUEST,Hootenanny 14 Mar 12 - 04:19 PM
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Gibb Sahib 15 Mar 12 - 04:52 PM
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Subject: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Margo
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 01:29 PM

There is a sea shanty "Hogeye" man. Among other lyrics, there are:
"She wants the hogeye man"
"Railroad navvie with his sea boots on"
"Oh the hogeye men are all ago when they go down to San Francisco"
So what's a hogeye man?
a railroad navvie?
Thanks,

Margarita


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Dave Swan
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 02:27 PM

According to a friend of mine who sings this song, there was a kind of sailboat, sloop rigged I think, which plied the waters of San Francisco Bay, called a hog's-eye. Apparently the men who sailed them were represented in song as dashing charmers. We know a variant which repeats "She loves the hog's-eye man" . That's the way I heard it.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Margo
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 02:51 PM

Dave, what a relief to hear that it's not a part of his anatomy!

Margarita


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Bert
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 03:00 PM

Margarita,

The mind boggles! WHAT WERE you thinking?

Bert.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: SeanM
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 03:30 PM

As to railroad navvies, I'm going to hazard a guess...

Several songs mention 'navvies' as a generic kind of longshoreman. It isn't too far of a leap to say that rr navvies refers to the same kind of laborer, probably equivalent to a junior stevedor.

M


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 03:45 PM

HOGEYE MUSIC is a grand music store in Evanston, Illinois owned by Jim Craig--a fine singer.

Art


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 04:07 PM

I always thought that the term 'navvies' was from navigation. The people that worked on the inland waterway systems and canals in the UK were known as 'navvies' because they worked on the (inland)'navigations'.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Bert
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 04:11 PM

That's the story I heard to Sham'.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 04:13 PM

There is more about the canals here Narrowboat songs


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Matthew B.
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 04:58 PM

You're all close.

A Hog Eye is a kind of a barge, popular in (but not exclusive to)the canals during the 19th century.

A navvy is a navigator (or pilot)


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: SeanM
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 05:04 PM

Odd... could 'navvy' have fallen into multiple usage? Most of the later shanties that I've heard it in refer to many of them, or at least plural, and I recall the use of it being used for something that sounds laborer-ish. Could it be a corruption based around some pilots putting in time on the stevedore crews for extra cash?

Jus' thinking...

M


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Matthew B.
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 05:34 PM

Sean -

Sounds plausible to me.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 08:19 PM

Gee, how disappointing........I thought this was more in the Talkin' Blues vein.....

"course ya' can't eat hog eyes,
but I LOVE chittlins.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: rich r
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 10:32 PM

"Navvy" may have its origin on the waterways, but the term has come to be more generic of unskilled laborers who worked on canals, roads, railroads etc. Gordon LIghtfoots's "Canadian Railway Trilogy" has the line : "We are the navvies who worked upon the railway, bending our backs in the hot morning sun"

For another take on hogeye, go here: http://www.elgintx.com/hogeye/

St. Paul, Minnesota was originally called "Pig's Eye"

rich r


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 11:32 PM

Does Navvie further refere in William of Orange

"...were called navigators all ragged and torn,

Who built the Grand Trunk here and found a new home,

Where ever their children were born..."

to meanial laborers because that was the only work that immigrants could find?

Don


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Murray on Saltspring
Date: 04 Jun 99 - 11:41 PM

Sorry, Margarita, but I think your suspicion is correct. I can't find an outright definition just now, but there are one or two suggestive references. In a book of shanties published about 1920 the author appeals to the experience of old salts, who know what the term means, and refuses to be any clearer. Legman (Horn Book, 1964, p. 401), talking about Hugill's unpublished unexpurgated collection, says that without it and one other manuscript "it would be impossible, in future times, actually to assess their erotic content from the absolutely terrified hints and dark implications (as about 'hog-eye') in all the printed chantey collections." The term isn't in Partridge's Dictionary of Slang, or its late revision by Beale, but I think a little reflection will bring the (maybe reluctant) conclusion that h-e means what it looks like, i.e. [to put it primly] the female pudendum. Sorry about that. Perhaps other Mudcatters will argue. Cheers Murray


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Margo
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 02:21 PM

Matthew B's post is so simple and clear, yet Murray, you stir up the muck. :o) I really wasn't thinking there would be anything erotic about the word hogeye.

I had a muddled picture in my mind of a guy with a popeye sort of deformity, with one normal eye and one kind of bigger, bulging eye. But to think that the skipper and the mate and whole crew had the same problem didn't make sense.

My apologies for not checking every book I have. I just looked in Hugill's shanty's from the seven seas and he does have the exact same discussion in there that we have here. Cited are the explanation of hogeye simply as the barge without any "obscene entanglements". Then there is mention that both "hogeye" and "dead-eye" have obscene significance.

It is imperitive for me to understand the meaning of any song I sing. But I suppose with the possibility of the two meanings, you could let your audience think what they want............


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 06:18 PM

Hi!

rich r is entirely correct when he wrote above...
'"Navvy" may have its origin on the waterways, but the term has come to be more generic of unskilled laborers who worked on canals, roads, railroads etc.' The laborers who built the motorway system in Britain were called navvies.

I've heard the phrase "railroad navvy" as "big buck nigger" also. Stan Hugill uses "railroad nigger" and "big buck nigger" in his collection, Shanties from the Seven Seas. It's always been my assumption that what was swept under the rug in the song was an explicit reference to a sexual encounter between a working man of African origin and a white woman.

"Hog-eye?" Well, Afro-Americans, as we know, were frequently portrayed in popular media with big bulging eyes up until about 40 years ago. Maybe that's the answer. Maybe not.

Stan pretty much threw out the idea of "hog-eye" as coming from inland waterway barges.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BUG-EYE (Bob Kotta?)
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 09:59 PM

I love discussions like this. It's like being at a song circle and a college seminar at the same time. Let me add a different note, with a "modified" version of The Hogeye Man that I learned from Bob Kotta in Seattle, who may or may not have written it. I have more in this genre if anyone's interested. If not, I'll keep quiet.

THE BUG-EYE

Oh the bug-eyed Sprite is the car for me
Goes zero to sixty in three point three

(CHORUS)
In a Bug-Eye
Where's the heater on a Bug-Eye?
Steady on the clutch of a Bug-Eye, oh
I want the Bug-Eye Sprite

Well it's fast and straight and steady in the curve
If you've got the guts it's got the nerve, in your Bug-eye...

I thought I heard my girlfriend say
That she'd go for a ride most any day, in a...

In a bug-eyed Sprite you can have great fun
But there's not enough room to get it on, in a...

I stripped the gears and I popped the clutch
At the end of the ride she thanked me much, in my...

Well nine long months had just passed by
When she came to me with a little Bug-Eye, in a...

And now the saddest part I'll tell
My little Bug-eye I had to sell, and a...

So now I'm married, I'm a family man
And I ride around in a beat-up van, not a...


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: gargoyle
Date: 05 Jun 99 - 11:03 PM

Random House Dictionary of American Slang

vol II. 1997 pg. 119

This very nice collection of collequializms (sic) gives reference to the song you cite:

3.l the vulva or vagina. - usu. considered vulger.

1938 J. colcord Song of Sailorman 99 "The Hog-Eye Man" Terry hints at hidden obsecenity in the name itself; but if this were case, the origniators have taken their knowledge with them. 1942 s.P. Bayard Hill country 75: [In] Greene County [Pa]... "Hog Eye" has an indecent meaning....."All she had to give me was a hog-eye and a 'tatler."...."I stepped right up and kissed her swett/And asked her for some hog-eye meat." 1920-54 in Randolph & Legman Blow Candle Out 788: The famele sex organ...cunt,...hog-eye...snatch [etc.] 1966 Longstreet & Godoff Wm. Kite The famle pudendum, called jelly-roll and hog-eye by Billy Brunswick.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 07:39 AM

It would be resonable to accept the canals were the first large scale projects to use large mobile groups of unskilled workers and that is indeed the origin of the term navvie. It's later adoption for unskilled workers in general is perfectly logical, but the word comes from working on the inland navigations.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Matthew B.
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 12:14 PM

Margarita, Thanks for the kind words, but now that I've heard your idea (about a Popeye-like character), I think I like it better. :-)

Great. Now I can't stop singig "Hog Eye Man" in my head. But that's always the case anyway. Great Song!!

Dan, You wrote:

It's always been my assumption that what was swept under the rug in the song was an explicit reference to a sexual encounter between a working man of African origin and a white woman.

Dan, I agree that it's possible to imagine (or in your words, assume) some sort of reference to a liaison between a white woman and a black man, but do you have anything else to go on for making that guess? Are there any references out there to this sort of connection?

You know how highly I value your opinion on these matters, Dan. I know that I always feel lured to believing the wilder explanations to things myself, but then reality (usually) kicks me in the butt and puts me back into my place.

gargoyle, I just love the references you cited, but I wasn't able to find that. Which edition were you using?

But in the end, I think Shambles summed it up accurately enough to satisfy me on the point completely.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Margo
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 12:52 PM

Really, Matthew B., in THE END? HaHa

Yes, I have seen the alternate words in Hugill's book to indicate a relationship between a black man and a white woman. Instead of "railroad navvie" he says "railroad nigger". I've heard it sung "Sally in the garden picking peas with her golden hair hanging down to her knees". A definate black/white connection it would seem.

Can you imagine if hogeye is really such an obscene reference, and me going around singing about the hogeye man in front of my kids.............

Margarita


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Matthew B.
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 08:43 PM

Margarita , I'm well aware of the yellow hair, and all of its erotic imagery in this context, but I'm still not sure if there's an interracial connotation there.

And as for "railroad nigger" I was surprised to learn that "railroad navvy" was the original term in the song, and "nigger" was only pasted in there later on, to suit the racist tastes of those singing it -- who may have added the other aspect of the reference, namely the interracial thing.

So I'm still unconvinced.

But you're certainly right about one thing: I usually get it in the, um, end.

;)


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 06 Jun 99 - 11:06 PM

Hugh Williamson posted "Original Bawdy Versions" of several sea shanties at rec.music.folk a couple of years ago. His introduction to the post is provided below. One of the songs was Hogeye Man and it makes reference to the black - white tryst discussed above. If anyone wants the post send me a message and I will send it to you. The words are pretty bawdy and I don't feel comfortable posting them generally.

Original Post starts here:-------

Sea Chanties...the "original-wink wink, nudge, nudge" versions.

As part of my ongoing search for sea chanty and associated materials, I have uncovered what are claimed to be the authentic words to several well known chanties. As reported by Gershorn Legman, in his extensively footnoted collection "Roll me in your arms", these versions were given to him by Stan Hugill, as the authentic versions of chanties which he rewrote (ie cleaned up) for publication in his major works on Shanties.

I am still trying to locate a copy of Hugill's original vresions.

Hugh Williamson


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 12:01 AM

A couple of other lines that would be food for thought.

The Hog eye man is the man for me
He's blind in one eye & cannot see (does that mean he's only one eye to start with?)

Who's been here since I've been gone
A railroad navvy with his sea boots on (navvy boots?)

Another in this, can I say area, Whup Jamboree = Jinny get your (ringtail/oatcakes) (warm/done).

Sailors were masters of double & triple entredre (sp?), what they said &/or what they meant to say could be worlds apart. You may have had to have been there.

Hi Margarita. A dead eye is a fitting that has been replace by the turnbuckle. It's round with two (eye) holes on the upper part & one (mouth) hole on the bottom part. Through these hole goes, from the upper, the part of the standing rigging called a stay or shroud & the lower part would generally go to the chainplates. The tension on the rigging from here could be ajusted. There's also mentioed in song (Banks Of Newfoundland) the Deadman (go wash the mud (not blood) off the deadman's face). The deadman, like the deadeye has the same 3 holes but instead of a round object it's more resembles a skull. The anchor chain is lead from the ship's bow overboard to the mouthpiece of the deadman then from the other 2 holes runs an anchor chain from each hole so that two anchors can be set from what was originally one chain line. I've never heard of a deadman or deadeye being used in any other way.
Barry

Barry


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Margo
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 01:04 AM

Thanks for the technical explanation of deadeye and deadman. I actually knew about the deadeye, but I don't quite see how one can make an obscene reference to it.

There are plenty of double entendres in sea songs. It must have been something that would break up the ennui aboard ship on long voyages. Personally, I like them.

The people at song circle know me as the lady who likes shantys. I am directing a children's choir this summer. You needn't guess what we're singing. Sea songs, of course. But cleaned up a bit: I want to have the option of teaching next year.

Margarita


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 01:18 AM

Margarita the best of luck to you & the kids. I thought it a bit funny when I found out that my kid was singing 'Your Baltimore Whores with purple drawers comes waltzing the alley' at circle time, of course if one of your students went home singing that their parents may not be as amused. Love to help out if you're in want or need, though I usually lean towards the more adult versions. Barry


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 07:44 AM

The term Navvy has been around since the beginning of the 19th century, and has always been used to refer common laborers on any project which requires digging/excavation: canals, earthworks, pipelines, levees, railroads. Later, when a machine was developed to do this work, it was called--as one might expect--the steam navvy. The term was, indeed, taken from the word navigator, but not in any way limited to seafaring--more having to do with surveying.

The tow-path driver responsible for the draft animals which towed barges and canal boats on the old canal systems was known as the HOGGY; that possibly might be the basis for the term hog-eye, through folk etymology.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 08:07 AM

There's a version of "Whip [Whup] Jamboree" with "come and get your oats, my son" in the chorus, (instead of "Jenny get your oat cakes done", which smacks (oops!) of Bowdlerism to me). Just in case you don't say that in your country, "getting one's oats" = "having carnival knowledge"; a useful expression you won't find in the phrase boks!

Steve


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 08:10 AM

Oops - sorry!!
I ought to point out that a phrase bok is a South African antelope whose postillions have been struck by lightning. (Not to be confused with phrase book, which isn't.)

Steve


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 09:15 AM

The canals were initially referred to as 'inland navigations', hence the word 'navvie'.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 10:55 AM

You may be interested to know that there are many pubs in Britain called the Navigation, because they were built near a canal. In fact, there is always a pub within a hundred yards of a bridge or lock - very handy!


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Margo
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 11:29 AM

Bill in alabama: I'm glad you made mention of the beasties that pull the barges. It appears that the origins of the lyrics all have logical roots.

Steve, I think perhaps your fingers got carried away excitedly dancing on the keyboard, your mind racing ahead with flitting visions of what the lyrics might mean....and hitting an extra key or two. I think you meant "carnal" knowledge. :o) My carnival knowledge is limited to clowns and elephants..............

Margarita


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Matthew B.
Date: 07 Jun 99 - 02:04 PM

Hmmm...

Now that you mention it, Margarita, I do seem to recall spending some time on a carnal boat.

;o)


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: gargoyle
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 12:47 AM

Mathew B.

The edition is 1997, vol. II (It only goes to the letter "o" at this time - the third volume is yet to come.)

However, this edition does also make mention of the "barge" context to which you refer:

Calif. a kind o barge. Now hist.
1870 In Whall Sea Songs 94: Oh, the hog-ey men are all the go,/Wehn they come down to San Francisco. 1925 Baily Shanghaied 39 [ref. to 1898] kSenn was trying to make his getaway by the last hog-eye (barge). 1910-27 Whall Sea Songs 93 [ref to a 1872] [around San Francisco] there was a great business carried on by water, the chief vehicles being barges, called "hog-eyes." The derivation of the name is unknown to me.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Jon W.
Date: 08 Jun 99 - 03:42 PM

With an engine just under 1 liter displacement, I assume you meant the Bug-Eye Sprite went from 0 to 60 in 3.3 minutes, not seconds. Still I always wanted one back in those days.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Chris Seymour
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 09:00 AM

I've heard the fabulous Heather Wood sing "the Hogeye Man" and am looking for a full set of words and even a recording. I didn't find the words in DigiTrad. Any suggestions?


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 10:45 AM

It's there in DigTrad, filename[ HOGEYEMN


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOG-EYE MAN
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 11:39 AM

And a different version from the one in the DT:

HOG-EYE MAN

Go fetch me down my ridin' cane,
For I'm goin' to see my darlin' Jane

And a hog-eye,
Railroad navvy with his hog eye,
Row ashore with a hog-eye,
Oh, she wants a hog-eye man

Oh the hog-eye men are all the go
When they come down to San Fransisco

Now it's who's been here since I've been gone,
A railroad navvy with his sea boots on

Oh Sally in the garden pickin' peas,
Her golden hair hangin' down to her knees

Oh Sally in the garden, shellin' peas,
With her young hog-eye all a-sittin'on her knees

Oh a hog-eye ship and a hog-eye crew,
A hog-eye mate and skipper too

--------------
This version (the melody at least) dates from the 1860s and is from the singing of Ian Campbell & group on _Blow the Man Down_, Topic, TSCD464
The notes to the CD say Vance Randolph collected several versions from Missouri hill-folk, but Randolph's manuscripts are locked up in a sex research institute in Indiana. ----------------------
The Boarding Party also recorded this song. Check it out at Folk Legacy.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Micca
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 02:02 PM

Hey Jeri, you missed the verse (from the singing aboard a British merchant ship in 1965,of Bert Grey of Shetland)
Sallys in the kitchen making duff
and the cheeks of her a***e go chuff chuff chuff.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 02:34 PM

Micca, that verse is in the Boarding Party's version, but not in the one I transcribed, and I was trying to write what I heard. I don't know if it was deliberately not included in that version. (Guess - probably)


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Melbert
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 03:49 PM

I thought Hogeye was the last of the Mohicans. Didn't he have a Scots brother, Hogeye the Noo?


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Micca
Date: 21 Nov 99 - 06:56 PM

Melbert yeah him and his Scouse Apache mate Hang-on-a-mo'


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Wotcha
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 11:36 AM

Hogeye is certainly a nautical term ... thanks for clearing it up Barry! I seem to recall a conversation on this topic at Radio Mexico after a sing at Southstreet Seaport last February ...

Navvy/Navvie is almost an epithet in the UK -- commonly associated with the Irish who were "imported" to work the roads and canals in the 1700s and still seem to be there to this day ... (I am of Irish origin too ...)

The Pogues (dare I mention them on this website) render an interesting song entitled "Navigator" referring to Navvie contributions to empires, conglomerations, at their expense. "Navigator, navigator rise up and be strong/...there's work to be done ..." A great song. Check it out.

Cheers, Allahamdalla, Brian


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 08:00 PM

Debbie McLatchy sings an American old-time song called Hogeye (I think) which has similar words in places to the sea shanty, but without any of the nautical aspects. She gives the explanation that the hog-eyes were boats in San Francisco that used to bring ashore passengers and crew from larger sailing ships. During the '49 gold rush (in which an ancestor of hers took part, and found gold!) ships crews used to leave the ships to go prospecting, leaving behind many rotten old hulks. These people were apparantly known as the hogeye men. Cheers Ray


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Subject: Lyr Add: NAVVY BOOTS (from The Dubliners)
From: AKS
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 01:54 AM

What can be agreed on here, is what these hogeye & navvy men were interested in. The Dubliners' (I think they've also recorded The Navigator mentioned earlier) version of The Navvy Boots adds 'the court room bit' to the story of the two in DT:

NAVVY BOOTS
Trad

I am an old navvy and I work on the line,
And the last place I worked was Newcastle-on-Tyne.
I'll tell me misfortune. It happened in fun,
And it happened one night I'd me navvy boots on.

That night after supper I shaved off me beard.
To meet me fair Elaine I was well prepared.
To meet me fair Elaine I then hurried down,
And I met her that night with me navvy boots on.

I knocked on her window. My knock it was low.
I knocked on her window. My knock she did know.
She jumped out of bed saying, "is that you, John?"
"Oh, be cheerful! It's me with me navvy boots on."

She came to the door and invited me in,
Saying, "draw to the fire, love, and warm your skin."
Well the bedroom was open and the blankets rolled down,
So I jumped into bed with me navvy boots on.

Now all of that night how we sported and played,
Never thinking of time as it soon passed away.
Then she jumped out of bed crying, "what have I done?
Now the baby will be born with his navvy boots on!"

I said, "now, me loved one, your talkings are wild.
Are you foolish, young girl? You'll never have a child,
For all that we've done now 'twas only in fun."
But I run like hell with me navvy boots on.

And very soon after I was summoned to court
To pay for me sins just like any man ought.
I pay ten bob a week now for all of me fun
That I had that night with me navvy boots on.

greet's AKS

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 28-Jul-02.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Chris Seymour
Date: 25 Mar 00 - 01:02 PM

Getting back to this fascinating thread, since I'm learning the song:

JAB-could you please send me the uncensored lyrics to Hogyeye Man you got from the newsgroup you mentioned? (I couldn't figure out how to send you this message privately, but I'm hoping you can figure out how to send one to me!)

Matthew--How did you learn that later singers had replaced 'navvy' with the racist epithet beginning with 'n'?


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Amos
Date: 25 Mar 00 - 01:16 PM

There's also a thread through this interesting discussion of the one-eyed trait which has its own trail of references in folk literature. One-Eyed Reilly is the first that comes to mind. One eyed-ness is traditionally associated with peckers, for obviosu reason, and could have been the basis for thoughts about dead-eyes as a resonance to that notion.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 25 Mar 00 - 03:52 PM

Geez, the things you learn on Mudcat! I always assumed "navvie" was a small corruption of "navy"--glad to be enlightened!

Lin


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: paddymac
Date: 25 Mar 00 - 08:02 PM

Amos - Great minds really do flow through the same gutter, er, channels. After reading through this thread, especially the lyrics, I had come to essentially the same conclusion as you. I'm not sure there's a "proof" to be had, but the idea certainly has what might be called a "high plausability factor".


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 25 Mar 00 - 10:03 PM

Why not ask the people at Hogeye Music and Folk Arts, in Evanston, IL, right outside Chicago?

Hogeye Music, 1920 Central Street, Evanston, IL, 60201, (847) 475-0260. No website as far as I know. But they know hogeyes. Ask for Jim Craig, and tell him about Mudcat.

Art, back me up!

Nobody here knows THEM????????

~Susan~


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Stewie
Date: 25 Mar 00 - 11:43 PM

There was another verse that would seem to add weight to Murray on Saltspring's conclusion:

Sally's in the garden shellin' peas
With a cunt like a horse collar down to her knees

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Kim C
Date: 28 Mar 00 - 02:05 PM

I am a HUGE fan of shanties and this is one of my favorites. My, what a lively discussion! My conclusion is, like so many bawdy songs of old, hog-eye has a double meaning and those who get it, get it, and those who don't can still enjoy the song and not feel like they're out of the loop.

Somewhere I read that a navvy was a railroad worker but as so many of you have said, it likely has other meanings. (I also really dig the Navvy Boots song.) --KC


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Margo
Date: 28 Mar 00 - 02:18 PM

I just heard another verse this weekend at singing camp.

Oh, Sally in the kitchen making duff, the cheeks of her arse going chuff chuff chuff (the singer made an up and down motion with his hands, one then the other). Duff is steamed suet pudding with currants. Eat too much and you have a big duff. Ba-doom-boom! Margo


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Mar 00 - 07:30 PM

Margo, that sounds like one of those portable verses that fits (sort of) a great many songs. I'm pretty sure I've heard it somewhere, and I can't remember where, but I don't think it was part of "The Hogeye Man."


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 28 Mar 00 - 08:18 PM

Praise,

Yes, you're correct. As I said earlier. HOGEYE MUSIC in Evanston, IL is a fine place. Jim Craig has it now, but the first owners were Ann and Jan Hills-Burda along with Joan and Tyler Wilson. (That's the fine singer Ann Hills).

Art


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: W y s i w y G !
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 01:43 AM

Art, is Jan still making guitars somewhere?

~Susan~


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Jacob B
Date: 29 Mar 00 - 12:19 PM

I'm amazed to see that no one seems to have mentioned the derivation of the word "navvy" that I learned, and which I find completely and unquestionably credible. The low-paid construction workers were called navvies not because some workers had once worked on inland navigations, but because they were immigrants. Because they had come over on a boat, they were mockingly called "navigators", and this got shortened to "navvies".


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Chris Seymour
Date: 30 Mar 00 - 09:57 PM

Margo--

The verse about Sally's arse cheeks is both part of "The Hogeye Man" (see the lyrics posted in Digitrad) and of the chantey Poor Old Man (also sometimes called Poor Old Horse), which has a refrain structure like this:

Sally's in the kitchen and she's making the duff ref: and we say so, and we hope so And the cheeks of her arse are going chuff, chuff, chuff ref: Oh poor old man

Isn't folk music wonderful?


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,bt
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 02:26 PM

hogeye is a small town by greenland,ar. and goin to strickler as well.. if noone else no where hogeye is? thats odd.. or never heard of it either.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: frogprince
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 03:00 PM

I wasn't on line back when this thread was running before; when it popped up, I quickly looked to see how long it took someone to mention Hogeye music. It was the (at least back in the days of Anne and Jan) the smallest venue in which I ever heard great perfomers. They pushed the counters to the back, set up what chairs they could fit in, and brought in Bill Staines, Peter "Madcat" Ruth, etc. They had an old painted hog from a carousel in the window, with a little sign tacked on saying "Does this make Hogeye Music Bucking Ham
Palace?" They became a drive-in one day when an elderly lady hit the
gas instead of the brake. At the time I worked for the owner of their building at his shoe store in Winnetka; he maintained that nothing they did was even music, since it wasn't opera.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: frogprince
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 03:05 PM

It was also a record label Jan and Ann had running for awhile; is anything left of that?


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Jack Hickman
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 03:11 PM

Just to add a little to the discussion of the origin of the word "navvy", it was always my impression that the navvy was just a step above the common labourer, mainly because of his special skills in the excavation or building of works requiring a straight line, e.g., canals, roads, bridges, dams, etc. It seems that over the years it has taken on a pejorative meaning, especially when used to refer to Irish workers, but originally it was a term of respect.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 03:45 PM

Navvy is still probably the most common word in England for people doing labouring work, mostly on building sites, and there's no implication about nationality or colour.

"Working like a navvy" or "working like a nigger" would at one time have been used interchangeably, meaning working bloody hard. Eiuther way it carries a certain mark of respect. These days you wouldn't get the klatter, maybe because the only people who'd say it wouldn't have that respect.

As for "Hogeye" in shanties, I've always understood it meant "arsehole". I've got a feeling that's what Stan Hugill said it meant.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Stewie
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 07:43 PM

'Hog-eye man' is #126 in Randolph's 'Roll Me In Your Arms: Unprintable Ozark Folksongs and Folklore' (p 401 of Vol I of Uni of Arkansas 1992 edition - edited by Gershon Legman). In his note to 'Careless Love' (#237 in Vol II 'Blow the Candle Out' p 648), Legman has this note:


... 'hog's-eye' and 'pig's eye', the vagina or its split "upright diamond" symbol. (Not to be confused with the nautical slang, 'dead-eye', the anus, or a Turk's-head knot in rope). 'Hog's-eye man, an inveterate wencher or 'cunt-hound', a man obsessed with women or sex, also called 'Jody'. See texts at No 126 above.



--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Bernard
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 08:10 PM

Off on a tangent... up around Tyneside an 'Oggie' is a kind of pastie, and there's a song about the Oggie Man, or Pastie Seller...!!

I wonder if there's any connection?


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Q
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 09:02 PM

"Hogeye" has developed several meanings since it first appeared. Early quotes:
Meaning 1
W. L. Rose, 1853, Hist. Slavery in N. Am. (referring to 1840s)
"Who's been here since I've been gone?
Pretty littl gal with a josie on.
Hogeye! Old Hogeye.
(Meaning unclear, although the rhyme has been preserved).

H. Nathan 'D. Emmett' 372, 1864
De (slave) trader rode upon a mule
The "hog-eye" kept his temper cool
He gib de word to go ahead
Den crack his whip an' say "nuff sed."

Meaning 2. California- A type of barge (now historical)
Whall, Sea Songs, 1870, p. 94"
"Oh, the hogeye men are all the go,
When they come down to San Francisco."

Meaning 3. The vulva or vagina. Discussed above.
Lomax, 1910(?) American Ballads 432:
"She could smile, she could chuckle,
She could roll her hog eye."

Quotes from J. E. Lighter, "Historical Dictionary of American Slang," vol. 2.
Meaning 4. The flower of the hog's eye plant. (OED).


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 09:06 PM

Hmmm, 'Hogeye' & 'Oggie' - there's is a degree of closeness in the pronounciations... remembering that those who first write down the phonetic spelling of what they hear may have the resultant spelling pronounced phonetically differently and then written down again phonetically...


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 09:17 PM

I would doubt the 'just off the boat' connotation for the origins of navvie, the acts of parliament which were required for the creation, or closure, of a canal described them as inland navigations, and navigation and then cut seem to have preceeded the term canal.

From the canals it was logical for the workers to go on to the building of railways, and then the highways and motorways as cars became the next big thing.

Navvies must have seemed like visitations from Hell for a quiet village, as the canal or railway 'head' approached there would have been people arriving to find food, drink, building materials - setting up a shanty town and then the workers themselves, typically described as dirty foul mouthed ungodly people, plus all the hangers on, and families.

Once the work was finished and the boats or trains were running it must have seemed that the village would never be the same again.

Anne


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Q
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 09:46 PM

Navvy first appeared in print in these quotations:
1832-1834, De Quincy, Wks. "If navvies had been wanted in those days."
1839, Lecourt, Birmingham Railways 27, "The banditti, known in some parts of England by the name of 'navies' or 'navigators' and in others as 'bankers'... "
1862, Smiles, Engineers, III, 321, "During the railway-making period the navvy wandered about from one public work to another."

The OED standard definition is "A labourer employed in the excavation and construction of earth-works, such as canals, railways, embankments, drains, etc." Although chiefly British, in the States it has come to mean an unskilled laborer (seldom heard). Webster's Collegiate. Both references declare that the word is derived from 'navigator.'

In Britain, it also came to mean the machine that did excavation work.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Auggie
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 10:07 PM

Does anyone know which variation of Hogeye Jan was referring to when he and Anne begat the music store?


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Q
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 11:20 PM

No one seems to have posted Stan Hugill's version of "The Hog-Eye Man."

Lyr. Add: THE HOG-EYE MAN (Hugill)

He came to a shack where his Sally (Jinny) she did dwell,
And he knocked on the door and he rang her bell,
Oh, An' a hog-eye (Oh, hog-eye, O)!
Railroad nigger wid his Hogeye
(Row the boat ashore for her hogeye)!
Row the boat ashore wid her hog-eye O!
She wants the hog-eye man!

Oh, Jinny's (Sally's) in the garden, pickin' peas,
An' the hair of her head hangin' down to her knees.

Oh, who's bin here since I've bin gone?
Some big buck nigger wid his sea-boots on.

If I cotch him here wid me Jinny (Sally) any more,
I'll sling my hook an' I'll go to sea some more.

Oh, Jinny (Sally) in the parlour a-sittin' on his knee,
A-kissin' the sailor who'd come o'er the seas.

Sally (Jinny) in the garden siftin' sand,
An' the hog-eye man sittin' hand-in-hand.

Oh, Sally (Jinny) in the garden shellin' peas,
With her yound hog-eye all a-sittin' on her knee.

Oh, I won't wed a nigger, no, I'm dammed if I do,
He's got jiggers in his feet an' he can't wear a shoe.

Oh, the hog-eye man is the man for me,
He wuz raised way down in Tennessee
(For he is blind aan' he cannot see).

Oh, go fetch me down my ridin'-cane,
For I'm off to see me darlin' Jane.

Oh, a hog-eye ship an' a hog-eye crew,
A hog-eye mate an' a skipper too,

With music, pp. 198-200, Stan Hugill, "Shanties from the Seven Seas, (1961), 1994 new U. S. edition, Mystic Seaport. Whall said a hog-eye was a barge used on the canals and rivers of the U. S. at the time of the Gold Rush in California (1850), and Hugill seems to accept this as its origin (hog-eye man being one of the crew of a hog-eye). See meaning 2 in a previous post).
There are several variant choruses; Hugill gives five.

I have a suspicion that this chantey originated with the slave oarsmen and crews on the southeast coast and on the Gulf rivers.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 06:13 AM

Hugill admitted that his text had been "camouflaged," the word he liked to use for "bowdlerized." Some of the original stanzas are in Randolph-Legman, but Legman, for reasons unknown, still omitted seven entire stanzas.

The full text, Legman tells us, is/was in Hugill's manuscript of bawdy shanties, "Sailing Ship Shanties, by 'Long John Silver.'"

There's a disturbing rumor circulating that this collection, which is/was one of the most significant folklore collections in English of the 20th century, has now disappeared or, in fact, never existed.

Hugill himself told me in 1988 that the manuscript was real and that he'd given it to Legman around 1960. He compiled it at Legman's request from the authentic shanty lyrics that Hugill's 1961 publishers found "unprintable." This, Hugill said, was so that "if we're all blown up by an atom bomb the songs will survive." Maybe he was too optimistic.

Maybe John Mehlberg knows something about the manuscript's whereabouts. Legman stated in print several times that he'd promised to publish it.

Meanwhile, Stan occasionally performed some of the bawdy shanties at late-night singalongs at Mystic Seaport and elsewhere. Any 'Catters who may have picked up lyrics from him in person can help out by posting them.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 11:53 AM

Early in this thread someone tried to refer folks to a website that seemed to indicate Elgin, Texas. This is a little town about 30 miles east of Austin. One of the rather winding, washboardy country roads that goes from Austin, east to south of Manor, then east and a tad north to end in Elgin, is called HOGEYE Road.

Mama always said to make all the connections. She obviously knew you lot.   Tw


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 01:30 PM

I dismissed the connection between oggies and hogseyes, and then i remembered the film (American Pie?) where an apple pie is used as a suurogate vagina.
I still don't believe it though.
Steady on the jib,
Keith.

PS I had a Sprite but here we called them frog eyed.
Heater worked pretty good on mine though.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 11:07 PM

LIGHTER

Very NICE commentary.

Good Lord willing, we can run back to your most recent reference.

Sincerely - Thank You!~
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 11:18 PM

I still don't believe it though.

KeithH4

Given your immediate posting....check for Alzheimer's or better yet.....some REVERSE recollection of the memory.

Also check your gonads....more than a hand-full of 17 y.o. American males have humped cherry-pies, goats, sheep, dogs, fists, females....as oppossed to Hull-College-British Pastys that have humped, class-mates, instructors, and fresh-hot-dorm-delivered-pizzas.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Q
Date: 23 May 08 - 01:56 PM

Posted up above from Lighter, "Historical Dictionary of American Slang," are the several meanings of hogeye (hogseye).
Captain Whall, "Sea Songs and Shanties, first printed in 1910, is perhaps the best collection of 19th c. sailors work songs.
I haven't found his note or version of "The Hog-Eye Man" in Mudcat threads.

Lyr. Add: THE HOG-EYE MAN
(W. B. Whall)

Solo
Oh! go fetch me down my old riding cane,
For I'm goin' to see my darlin' Jane!
Chorus
And a hog-eye railroad nigger with his hog-eye
Row de boat ashore, and a hog-eye O!
She wants the hog-eye man.

Solo
O the hog-eye men are all the go,
When they come down to San Francisco,
Chorus
In a hog-eye, etc.

Solo
Now it's "who's been here since I been gone?"
A railroad nigger with his sea-boots on,
Chorus
And a hog-eye, etc.

Solo
O Sally in the garden picking peas,
Her golden hair hanging down to her knees,
Chorus
And a hog-eye, etc.

With musical score, pp. 93-94, reprint 1948.

Note by Captain Whall: "This shanty dates from 1849-1850. At that time gold was found in California. There was no road across the continent, and all who rushed to the goldfields (with a few exceptions) went in sailing ships round the Horn, San Francisco being the port they made for. This influx of people and increase of trade brought railroad building to the front; most of the "navvies" were Negroes. But, until the roads were made, there was a great business carried on by water, the chief vehicles being barges, called "hog-eyes." The derivation of the name is unknown to me. The sailor in a new trade was bound to have a new shanty, and this song was the result."


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Q
Date: 23 May 08 - 02:18 PM

Joanna C. Colcord, "Songs of American Sailormen," also includes this gold rush chantey. Her first and last solos are different, but the rest of the solos are the same as those in Whall.

THE HOG-EYE MAN

Solo
Oh, the hog-eye man is the man for me,
He was raised way down in Tennessee,
Chorus
With a hog-eye!
Row boat ashore with a hog-eye,
Row boat ashore with a hogeye,
All she wants is a hog-eye man!

----------

Solo
Oh, I won't wed a nigger, I'll be damned if I do,
He's got jiggers in his feet and he can't wear a shoe.

With score, p. 104. "Sacramento" is another gold rush chantey, also using some solos derived from minstrel songs as well as whatever comes to mind of the leading singer.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Santa
Date: 23 May 08 - 03:01 PM

Oggy for a pasty is certainly South-west English, witness Cyril Tawney's song. Not (that I ever recall) North-eastern, although clearly the term could have appeared around the Tyne and Wear docks so I can't rule it out completely.

One point that perhaps needs expanding on is the renowned working capability of the navvies. In the 19th Century this was certainly well-known, hence the phrase "working like a navvy" touched on above. I believe some teams were also taken abroad to build French (at least) railways because of this. Presumably this was partly due to good organisation, but sheer effort clearly counted.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,John from Kemsing
Date: 23 May 08 - 03:40 PM

When we (FOUR SQUARE CIRCLE) sang this song we included this verse though I cannot determine its` source.

"Sally`s in the kitchen, mixing duff
While the cheeks of her arse go chuff, chuff, chuff."


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Subject: Lyr. Add: The Ox-Eyed Man
From: Q
Date: 23 May 08 - 04:22 PM

A shift in meaning here. No longer the barge of the black gold rush bargemen.
Some sailor, aboard a British merchantman, created a new chantey, perhaps after hearing "Hog-Eye Man."
"The Ox-Eyed Man" was collected by Captain Tozer, British Merchant Marine (long P & O experience).

Lyr. Add: THE OX-EYED MAN
F. J. Davis

Solo
Oh, May looked up and she saw her fate
In the ox-eyed man passing by the gate.

Chorus
Heigh-ho for the ox-eyed man.

Solo
Oh, May in her garden a-shelling her peas,
Smil'd on the stranger who'd come o'er the seas.

Chorus

Solo
The ox-eyed man gave a fond look of love,
And charmed May's heart which was as pure as a dove.

Chorus

Solo
Oh, May in the parlour a-sitting on his knee,
And kissing the sailor who'd come o'er the sea.

Chorus

Oh, May in the garden a-shelling her peas,
Now weeps for the sailor who sail'd o'er the seas.

Chorus

With score, no. 44, p. 84, F. J. Davis and Ferris Tozer, "Sailors' Songs or 'Chanties,'" revised ed., Boosey & Co., Ltd., London & NY (First printing 1887, no date on revised ed., but c. 1913).


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 23 May 08 - 10:48 PM

Interesting that this thread has been revived. It is the thread that first drew me to Mudcat. I had heard the song and not knowing what it meant I googled Hogeye and Google brought me here and I've been hanging out every since.
    So I understand that a Hogeye is a type of towed boat whether on a canal or on the Frisco coast and a navvy is a laborer. Recently I noticed a line in the Bob Dylan song "Ain't Talkin'" that goes:
       Eatin hog-eyed grease in a hog-eyed town
I believe he is making subtle reference to the song "Hogeye" because 8 lines later he sings : Hand me down my walkin' cane. Does anyone know if hog-eyed grease in a hog-eyed town means anything or is it just some picturesque wordplay from Mr. Dylan.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Bill S from Adelaide
Date: 24 May 08 - 05:53 AM

According to Roy Palmer's book, the word Navvy first appeared in print in 1822 and it certainly is an abbreviation of Navigator, a labourer on the canal building, the canal building period overlapped the railway building so the same workers would have moved between the two. The song The New Navigation was written in 1789 for the opening of the Birmingham Canal, the start of a canal network bigger than Venice.
Comments about the interchange of nigger and navvy brought back to mind comments from one of our track inspectors (I used to work for British Rail) when he was offered a couple of West Indians for his gangs. He was widely reported as retorting "Don't give me niggers, they're useless, get me some Irish lads, they work like blacks" without realising the irony.
Amazing the thread is nearly 9 years old and still going strong


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,Jan Burda
Date: 19 Jun 10 - 10:42 AM

Once upon a time....three musicians sat in an apartment in Rogers Park(Chicago), wondering what to name our new music store. Anne Hills, Doug Rice, and yours truly. Over a six-pack, or two, of hieleman's special export, we had been singing the old timey country standard The Hogeyed Man. "Hogeye Music" followed. A name like that would be hard to forget. Easy to remember...every trucker that drove down Central St., every delivery person,banker, police, emergency, etc. knows the shop.
   Months after opening, the late George Armstrong brings us a gift...a hog phrenology chart illustrating the body parts of a male hog (boar), with the additional tidbit of knowledge that in Celtic loar, the word hogeye means an erect penis,
   So for those of you who would like to hear this in American music, check out the version by sung by Mike Seeger and the New Lost City Ramblers, among many others.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Jun 10 - 10:58 AM

Jan-

Thanks for the new information. I do wonder how the term "hogeye" in "Celtic lore" came to mean that.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Jun 10 - 11:18 AM

Navvy is the abbreviation of ' navigationer ' ie. one who builds canals [ navigations ] not navigator.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 19 Jun 10 - 12:38 PM

Y'all are all wrong. HOGEYE is a road that winds thru the central Texas countryside. Starts east of Austin & takes a curvy route thru a wide variety of miniscule--uuhhmm, communities?--that were the pantry to the US. Farms, ranches, seed&feed stores, places to buy or fix the tractor or combine. Always heading eastward--unless you were headed to Austin from 1 of those little places...Eventually winding up just on the edge of Elgin. Used to be a point on US290 which listed Elgin as less than 30 miles from Austin. If you drive Hogeye Rd. you'll go closer to 50 or 55 mi. On 290 you'll see lots of major modern hiway stuff: fast food & gas station chains at exits; billboards; construction sites(for TOLL ROADS!!!); exit lanes & signs; yards full of "mobil" or "manufactured" homes for sale. If you drive Hogeye Rd. you'll see horses & bovine beings in pastures; cotton, bean, sorghum, corn, etc. fields; local cafes; little community groceries. It's a pleasanter ride. Of course, there are getting to be occasional housing & condo developments. & with the cost of gas a prohibitive luxury...sigh. Tw


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: frogprince
Date: 19 Jun 10 - 01:55 PM

Jan Burda, nice to hear from you. I usta live in Rogers Park, and work for your store's landlord in the shoe store in Winnetka; I enjoyed you and Anne any number of times at the No Exit. We saw Anne in Flint, MI. last month.
                            Dean


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 19 Jun 10 - 03:48 PM

Tannywheeeler, I've never heard such gibberish in all my life, what on earth do you mean [ in English ]

Dave H


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 20 Jun 10 - 10:08 AM

Don't talk English; I talk Tex. Tw


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,crew enterprize Australia
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 08:46 AM

I must say I have found all this so entertaining ,
    You will be happy to know the "Hog-eye" song is being sung with "gusto" by our little sea shanty band weekly,
    Complete with the "chuff" "chuff" "chuff"
    So if you ever find your self "Down Under" come sailing/singing on the "Tall Ship Enterprize" in Melbourne Australia and bring your Tin Whistle.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Gurney
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 03:11 PM

Dave Hanson, a few posts above, is correct according to a book on the navigations that I read long ago.
You have to understand the history. Britain is well laced with cuts/canals, which were built long ago from before the start of the industrial revolution, by gangs who lived a life in camps, as did the people who built the American railroads. They were not popular locally, as navigationers were definitely not 'plaster saints.' The term became generic for hard, hardworking, harddrinking men, who owed no fealty to the local citizenry.
In later years the railways of Britain were built by the same system of work, and in those days quite often by Irish labourers, as work was plentiful and Britons could get better-paid and more settled places, hence 'Irish Navvies.'
It must be 50 years since I read the book. I think it was called 'The Navvies.'


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 14 Mar 12 - 04:19 PM

I am a little surprised that no-one yet on this thread has mentioned blues man Texas Alexander's song recorded around 1927/8 which starts off with the words:

"My Gal's got something that looks like a boar hog's eye"

It doesn't take much imagination to work out what it is he is referring too unless you have never seen a hog or studied female anatomy.
Sorry I can't recall which song this is without spending a while going through my shelves.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 15 Mar 12 - 02:38 PM

I've never seen a boar hog's eye, Hootenanny. I shall know what to look out for now!


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 15 Mar 12 - 04:52 PM

At first I thought the reference of "hogeye" was rather obvious (and supposed to be). But with all the stuff I've seen since, I don't think the word "hogeye" is part of the dirty stuff.

I think it was the customary solo lyrics (or style of solo lyrics) that was dirty. It's possible that at a later point the word hogeye itself also received a dirty denotation. This would have been either 1) through association with the dirty lyrical theme (i.e. people re-interpreted the word, gave it the dirty meaning) or 2) through the discourse of writers who said the chanty was dirty and mistakenly thought "hogeye" fit into that.

I don't think "hogeye" was in reference to a barge, either. Not originally, at least.

However, I can offer no meaning for it!


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 15 Mar 12 - 06:10 PM

Terry was explicit about saying that some of the dirt lay in the word "hogeye" itself, but he declined to be explicit about what it meant.

I think we've discovered what it meant, at least by the time Terry learned it in the late 19th C. Hugill, however, seems not to have made the connection, and if the editor of the lost manuscript of bawdy shanties, if he didn't think of it, plenty of others wouldn't have thought of it either.

The phrase "hogeye man" is ambiguous anyway. It could be a man with a squint or else the captain of a hogeye barge. Or a man obsessed with "hogeyes." Singers could imagine whatever they chose.

The fact that an unrelated fiddle tune called "The Hogeye Man" is openly attested in print even before the Civil War tells me that a clean meaning (or rationalization) was not only possible but actually prevalent.

At least outside of shantying circles.

As for "navvy," the evidence is that Iam Campbell or someone like that substituted it for the other "n-word" in the early '60s.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Mar 12 - 07:26 PM

I first heard this song a hell of a long time ago and it was sung as "railroad nigger with his sea-boots on". (Although why a railroad man be wearing sea-boots is beyond me!) The song was referred to as a "nigger shanty", lumped in with others like "Bullgine" and the cotton-screwing songs as being of African-American origin.
I always understood the Hogeye Man to be, firstly, Black. And secondly, one adept at getting some hog-eye.(more power to him!)
So many shanties have been sanitized. Agree with Guest, lighter, above that "navvy" was just cleaning it up.
Don't know the origin of the word but a navvy is a laborer.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 16 Mar 12 - 01:50 AM

Terry was explicit about saying that some of the dirt lay in the word "hogeye" itself, but he declined to be explicit about what it meant.

...Singers could imagine whatever they chose.


True, that's what I was vaguely alluding to by saying that people may have "later" imagined a dirty meaning (which becomes just as valid as earlier meaning) and/or that discourse about it (e.g. Terry's) may have oriented shanty-types towards expecting something dirty.

My current opinion is that the "original" meaning was clean, but, something like "Hilo," now "lost" to us. Not necessarily a mondegreen, not necessarily vocables, but then gain not necessarily something with a whachamacallit (declarative?) meaning. In other words, it was not necessarily meant to make any direct sense. Course that's just my opinion.

My opinion BTW is quite influenced by the evidence of the plantation or minstrel songs. I think it most likely was a word that was passed on from the plantation song, without thinking/caring about the meaning. Then later on it may have been ascribed a meaning when borrowed by a different cultural group.

This is a very broad statement, and highly contestable, but my sense is that the Black culture (or Southern U.S. culture?) that may (!) have produced this song originally is one that treated the "meaning" of words in songs in a different way than, say, RR Terry's culture-- which sought a rather more direct, rational meaning for all words in a song. Terry (hypothetically) would *have* to find some explainable meaning for "hogeye" and just as many of us have (including me at first), he suspected veiled sexuality.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Apr 12 - 12:30 PM

Hogeye..although in somecases can be a barge in fact was the slang term for a female sexual organ....while the dead eye was a persons anus. So for example the name Deadeye Dick meant the man was an asshole... not a marksman.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 19 Apr 12 - 01:18 PM

> Terry (hypothetically) would *have* to find some explainable meaning for "hogeye" and just as many of us have (including me at first), he suspected veiled sexuality.

It seems not to have been Terry himself but his shantying friend Morley Roberts who disclosed to him (along with "the benefit of his ripe nautical experience") the meaning of "hogeye." It "veiled the coarse intimacy of the term which it represented." As Terry writes,

"As a boy [i.e., before 1885] my curiosity was piqued by reticence, evasions, or declarations of ignorance, whenever I asked the meaning of the term."

And concerning making shanties dirtier than they generally were:

"The 'longshore' mariner of to-day...not only wants to explain to me, as a landsman, the exact meaning of terms...which the old type of sailor, with his natural delicacy, avoided discussing, but he tries, where possible, to work them into his shanty, a thing the sailor of old time never did."

To sum up: "hog's-eye" and "hogeye" had a both clean and dirty meanings. The various Mudcat minds that have discussed the matter over many years are essentially unanimous in their belief as to what the dirty meaning was.

I'm inclined to agree with Gibb's suspicion that at the moment of its creation, "The Hogeye Man" (or just a line about the "hogeye man") simply referred to a barge sailor. (If that meaning had not been both natural and probable, I can't imagine the strait-laced Whall publishing the shanty in any form.)

Dirty interpretations presumably didn't take hold for some singers till at least ten minutes later. If a sexual "hog's-eye" actually predated the shanty, that would only make reinterpretation inevitable.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Apr 12 - 02:18 PM

Anything to do with one-eyed trouser snakes, perhaps? Or maybe the allusion is to being greedy in the sense of lustful - maybe 'Hawkeye' is somebody who doesn't miss a trick. Just musing.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 05:27 PM

About 40 years ago I learnt a version with 'hogs' plural in the chorus.

"On the Hogs-eye
Row the boat ashore
On the Hogs-eye
Steady on the jigger
With the Hogs-eye man
She wants the Hogs-eye man"

Through all the posts above I never spotted the term "Hogs-eye" Am I the only one singing this?


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 06:00 PM

Then there was Hogseye and the last of the Mohicans


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 18 Jun 12 - 07:05 PM

For "hog's eye," see Apr. 19, 2012, 1:18 PM.


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Subject: Lyr Add Navvy On The Line
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 19 Jun 12 - 12:02 AM

G'day all,

I was trolling though this thread ... and all the variant derivations of "navvy" ... which we, in Australia understand to derive from its original meaning "(builder of ) inland navigations.

I got to wondering if I had ever posted a little ditty ... that survived into the mid 20th century as the core of a popular dance tune. Collector John Meredith, who grew up in Holbrook ... a largish 'bush' town in the Australian Riverina ... claimed the blokes would ask for it ( ... or else ... Ivan Skavinsky Kavar "... and dance around with silly smirks on their faces!".

Anyway, this is the lyric:

Navvy on the Line

I'm a nipper, I'm a ripper,
I'm a navvy on the line,
I get four and twenty bob a week
Besides me overtime.
All the ladies love the navvies
And the navvies love the fun,
There'll be plenty little babies
When the railway's done.

Some like the girls
Who are slender in the waist,
Others like the girl
Who are pretty in the face.
But give me the girl
Who'll take it in her fist
And shove it right home
Into the cuckoo's nest.

I do have a music program setting on my drive ... but not a MIDI. I can run one off at home ... and post it ... or supply the PDF of the music setting ...

Regard(les)s,

Bob

Click to play (joeweb)


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 19 Jun 12 - 05:01 AM

Is this sung to the tune of "The Cuckoo's Nest" ? The last line would suggest it and it fits.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 19 Jun 12 - 09:52 PM

G'day Hoots,

I think it all depends on which cuckoo you are nesting with.

The only Australian-collected examples to I could find on my travelling hard drive seem to be pretty brisk 'double jigs' (6/8 time).

The Cuckoos' nest tune, which we play for a Barn Dance ... is of course, basically a Schottische. Somehow or other ... a French idea what a German version of a Polka would sound like ... danced by Scots!

Any way, I have submitted a MIDI file ( ... to Joe Offer and/or Leo Pola 'MMario' ) so that may appear ... and, even may ... clear things up!

Regards,

Bob


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Jun 12 - 12:06 AM

hello bob!!! well i think it is you - the bob i knew with his sail boat :)
was going through some old poetry notes and emails and there you were - hope you are well

carole nelson phillips


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jul 12 - 05:01 AM

Bob Bolton submitted a MIDI for Navvy On the Line. Here are his notes: This is a MIDI of the basic tune, in G, of an Australian dance tune, Navvy On The Line ... to which some mildly risque lyrics clung ... collected in the late days of hand-built 'bush' ('country' ... 'backblocks' ...) railway lines.

Click to play (joeweb)


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 31 Jul 12 - 01:09 AM

G'day GUEST of 23 Jun 12 - 16.06 AM,

I'm afraid that's another Bob Bolton ... definitely no sailing boat!

I'm afraid my name's by no means unique ... indeed I used to run into another Bob Bolton at major Photographic Trade Shows ... a photographer like myself ...but from ~ Cairns, Queensland - and son of the Cairns printer who printed many of the more 'commercial' Australian Folk -Song, - Music & - Lore books of the prodigious collector and artist Ron Edwards (now, sadly, lost to this Earthly vale!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,DD
Date: 10 Dec 12 - 10:41 PM

As for the "railroad navvy" bit. There was a time when boats were towed down canals by many means, including horses and, yes, steam rail engines.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,Oz Childs
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 01:04 AM

The early English canals were sometimes called "navigations" and indeed some still are, especially those that improved on an existing stream, thus making it navigable. Hence, the people who built the canals were called "navigators", soon shortened to "navvies". Most of the navvies were from Ireland, I think.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Mar 14 - 05:20 PM

Just to tie the "navvie" end up: the work cutting the canals was fiendishly hard - up to ten tons of soil being shifted per man each day was not untypical - and could only be done by the huge intake of calories, mostly by eating and drinking hard. I have seen estimates comparing these workers with top athletes and weightlifters today.
The result was that they were generally as pissed as newts on a permanent basis, only sleeping when exhaustion overtook them. As such, they were feared by the communities they came past, but thankfully they were rarely around for long.
Many were Scottish emigrés of the Clearances, and Irish from the famines. As the loads created in the Industrial Revolution increased both in weight and frequency, the roads broke up, in some cases becoming up to half a mile wide as carriers tried to find a way past the mud pits created by previous loads. Zigzagging in search of a way through could massively increase the milage and slow the loads, and so the first work found was in creating the turnpike network of built toll roads. That was soon supplanted by the canal network, as despite the sloth by which one might think the horse hauling a barge portrays, it was both far faster and far more productive: a wagon might be hauled by far more horses and cover a far shorter distance each day, and a canal barge and buttie carries the same as a dozen wagons or more.
However, the creation of the railways made a far more rapid transport system, and killed canal construction: the navvies followed. Although the explanation of them as canal navigators is factually correct, there was also a subtext that many were formerly navy, sailors discharged from the Navy in 1815. When the UK railways were saliently constructed, many emigrated to build the railway networks of the US and British Empire.
Many of those who remained in the UK became the Didekoi, the Irish Travellers despised by the Rom Gypsies. Others became dockers, as they were experienced in handling huge weights, and eased back gradually as cranes took over unloading ships.


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Subject: RE: I give up. What's a HOGEYE?
From: GUEST,Hastings Pirate
Date: 05 Apr 14 - 05:14 AM

I've been singing this song for the past five years. I first heard it sung by Waterson, Carthy on the Rogues Gallery CD. I have Hugill's book and I've trawled the net and read the entire postings here. All leaving me none the wiser to the original meanings behind the song.
Shanty's were work songs, sung to help pass the time, and keep the rhythm, for long arduous tasks.
If you have ever been in a rugby club after a game, the songs that are sung are all explicit and are versions of some well known songs. There are as many versions of rugby songs as there are of shanty's.
Where the song comes from, I have no idea. That the hogeye is a word for a vagina, makes sense. Nigger wasn't considered offensive, to whites at least, in the 1800's. That many black seamen worked on railways and had liaisons with white girls from small villages is entirely plausible.
I think it is possible to imagine the original bawdy words. If you don't get them quite right I don't think it matters.


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