Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesonny

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


South Australia:What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?

DigiTrad:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA


Related threads:
ADD Versions: South Australia (10)
(origins) Origins: South Australia - copyright? (33)


Wincing Devil 26 Jun 02 - 11:51 PM
DonMeixner 27 Jun 02 - 12:01 AM
GUEST,ozmacca 27 Jun 02 - 12:07 AM
Dead Horse 27 Jun 02 - 12:09 AM
Amos 27 Jun 02 - 01:11 AM
BillR 27 Jun 02 - 02:33 AM
greg stephens 27 Jun 02 - 04:05 AM
okthen 27 Jun 02 - 04:08 AM
Charley Noble 27 Jun 02 - 09:56 AM
Naemanson 27 Jun 02 - 10:05 AM
EBarnacle1 27 Jun 02 - 11:13 AM
An Pluimir Ceolmhar 27 Jun 02 - 11:52 AM
DonD 27 Jun 02 - 11:58 AM
Dicho 27 Jun 02 - 12:42 PM
Dead Horse 27 Jun 02 - 01:09 PM
Amos 27 Jun 02 - 01:17 PM
greg stephens 27 Jun 02 - 01:49 PM
Amos 27 Jun 02 - 01:58 PM
Joe Offer 27 Jun 02 - 02:07 PM
Naemanson 27 Jun 02 - 02:45 PM
greg stephens 27 Jun 02 - 02:48 PM
Charley Noble 27 Jun 02 - 04:01 PM
greg stephens 27 Jun 02 - 04:06 PM
Charley Noble 27 Jun 02 - 04:10 PM
X 27 Jun 02 - 05:14 PM
DD 27 Jun 02 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,Nancy King at work 27 Jun 02 - 06:50 PM
greg stephens 27 Jun 02 - 07:25 PM
greg stephens 27 Jun 02 - 07:47 PM
michaelr 27 Jun 02 - 07:54 PM
greg stephens 27 Jun 02 - 08:02 PM
Naemanson 27 Jun 02 - 08:48 PM
greg stephens 27 Jun 02 - 09:04 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 27 Jun 02 - 09:05 PM
Celtic Soul 27 Jun 02 - 09:08 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 27 Jun 02 - 09:17 PM
greg stephens 27 Jun 02 - 09:24 PM
MMario 27 Jun 02 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,ozmacca 27 Jun 02 - 11:38 PM
greg stephens 28 Jun 02 - 04:52 AM
Dave Bryant 28 Jun 02 - 05:16 AM
ozmacca 28 Jun 02 - 05:28 AM
greg stephens 28 Jun 02 - 06:00 AM
catspaw49 28 Jun 02 - 09:02 AM
EBarnacle1 28 Jun 02 - 11:11 AM
Dead Horse 28 Jun 02 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,Melani 28 Jun 02 - 03:05 PM
MMario 28 Jun 02 - 03:16 PM
Celtic Soul 28 Jun 02 - 08:15 PM
The Pooka 28 Jun 02 - 10:03 PM
Celtic Soul 28 Jun 02 - 10:24 PM
The Pooka 28 Jun 02 - 10:35 PM
DMcG 29 Jun 02 - 03:46 AM
Charley Noble 29 Jun 02 - 08:54 AM
Celtic Soul 29 Jun 02 - 10:24 AM
Charley Noble 29 Jun 02 - 11:59 AM
The Pooka 29 Jun 02 - 12:26 PM
John Minear 29 Jun 02 - 02:03 PM
Charley Noble 29 Jun 02 - 02:12 PM
The Pooka 29 Jun 02 - 02:28 PM
Celtic Soul 29 Jun 02 - 05:57 PM
The Pooka 29 Jun 02 - 06:40 PM
Mr Red 29 Jun 02 - 08:33 PM
Wincing Devil 30 Jun 02 - 11:50 AM
The Pooka 30 Jun 02 - 12:38 PM
Barry Finn 03 Jul 02 - 01:19 AM
EBarnacle1 03 Jul 02 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Russell the Miller 30 Sep 02 - 01:53 PM
Sorcha 30 Sep 02 - 01:57 PM
Schantieman 30 Sep 02 - 02:24 PM
Sibelius 30 Sep 02 - 02:35 PM
Dead Horse 30 Sep 02 - 06:33 PM
EBarnacle1 01 Oct 02 - 12:41 PM
Gibb Sahib 23 Nov 10 - 01:14 AM
GUEST,kendall 23 Nov 10 - 07:16 AM
Charley Noble 23 Nov 10 - 07:52 AM
Gurney 23 Nov 10 - 10:27 PM
Gibb Sahib 24 Nov 10 - 03:30 AM
Charley Noble 24 Nov 10 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,Grishka 24 Nov 10 - 10:58 AM
Bernard 24 Nov 10 - 11:02 AM
Gibb Sahib 24 Nov 10 - 02:35 PM
Gibb Sahib 13 Feb 11 - 05:14 AM
Gibb Sahib 13 Feb 11 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,Russell Slye 01 Apr 11 - 10:54 PM
Gibb Sahib 04 Apr 11 - 03:30 AM
Rapparee 04 Apr 11 - 09:48 PM
GUEST,Charles Biada 04 Apr 11 - 11:34 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 05 Apr 11 - 03:16 AM
GUEST 07 May 11 - 09:29 AM
GUEST,Thomas 26 Jun 11 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,Eric Hayman 26 Jun 11 - 06:16 PM
Gibb Sahib 27 Jun 11 - 04:22 PM
Gibb Sahib 31 Jul 11 - 06:32 AM
Gibb Sahib 31 Jul 11 - 06:40 AM
Gibb Sahib 31 Jul 11 - 03:00 PM
Gibb Sahib 31 Jul 11 - 03:11 PM
Keith A of Hertford 31 Jul 11 - 04:26 PM
Jim Dixon 31 Jul 11 - 09:33 PM
GUEST,Lighter 31 Jul 11 - 10:11 PM
Gibb Sahib 01 Aug 11 - 05:41 AM
meself 01 Aug 11 - 10:47 AM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 06:32 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 06:49 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 07:51 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 08:09 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 08:15 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 08:44 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 08:53 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 09:08 PM
Gibb Sahib 02 Aug 11 - 10:23 PM
Gibb Sahib 03 Aug 11 - 02:02 AM
Gibb Sahib 03 Aug 11 - 02:50 AM
Gibb Sahib 03 Aug 11 - 03:36 AM
GUEST,Russell Slye 19 Aug 11 - 12:26 PM
Gibb Sahib 19 Aug 11 - 01:51 PM
Snuffy 20 Aug 11 - 01:19 PM
Gibb Sahib 21 Aug 11 - 03:38 AM
Lighter 21 Aug 11 - 09:36 AM
gnu 21 Aug 11 - 10:57 AM
ripov 21 Aug 11 - 12:18 PM
Gibb Sahib 21 Aug 11 - 06:32 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Aug 11 - 06:17 AM
Snuffy 22 Aug 11 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Aug 11 - 10:21 AM
Snuffy 22 Aug 11 - 03:30 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Aug 11 - 04:12 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Aug 11 - 04:44 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Aug 11 - 05:02 PM
meself 22 Aug 11 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Aug 11 - 06:36 PM
Gibb Sahib 25 Aug 11 - 02:32 AM
Gibb Sahib 25 Aug 11 - 02:50 AM
Gibb Sahib 26 Sep 11 - 05:28 AM
AKS 03 Oct 11 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,chief flying owl 17 Oct 12 - 10:56 AM
akenaton 18 Oct 12 - 07:40 AM
Mysha 22 Oct 12 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,Dulci 07 Mar 15 - 05:41 PM
Gurney 08 Mar 15 - 03:28 PM
bubblyrat 09 Mar 15 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,J M Anderson 18 Mar 15 - 09:12 AM
Lighter 18 Mar 15 - 10:45 AM
Gurney 18 Mar 15 - 04:04 PM
Lighter 29 Mar 15 - 11:13 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Wincing Devil
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 11:51 PM

In the sea chanty South Australia there is a line in the chorus, "Heave away you rolling king" or in some versions, "rolling kings". I've looked all over the net, but I can't get this simple question answered:

What the hell's a Rolling King?

(With apologies to Celtic Soul and the rest of the Pyrates Royale)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 12:01 AM

Something that rhymes with "Hear Me Sing".

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 12:07 AM

Have heard it emphasised as "Be rollicking" which has the advantage of meaning something, even if it doesn't ring seamanly true.... Also as "roll and cling", presumably pull the rpoe back through the pulley block, then hang on for grim death.... Could it have something to do with one of the poor sods dragging the rope setting the pace - as in "ruler something...." or could it be......................

Maybe Don's right.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 12:09 AM

Probably derived from "Ruler King" sung in some versions. The transition from ruler to rolling sounding more nautical ? That's my guess, for what it's worth.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 01:11 AM

It could refer to a piece of tackle, such as a large block used in heaving up an anchor, but I am stretching here, don't know for sure. The King spoke on a schooner helm was the one marked at the top when the rudder was centered, so it might be connected to this usage. The Buddhists have a legend about a King called the Wheel-Rolling King. Not related to the sea though. A song called "Rolling King" is listed as coming from the British Isles, no further data given, at Mappamundi. But a fragment of South Australia was published in Songs of American Sailormen by Joanna Colcord, under the title "Rolling King". She relates the tune to the well-known shanty that begins "Gloucester girls have got no combs; they comb their hair with jellyfish bones".

But still no explanation for what it is!! The version sung as "traditional" by Captain Jesse Schaeffer says, "Heave away, you rolling Kings", which sounds like a slang term for the deckapes at work rather than some part of their equipment -- so to speak....

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: BillR
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 02:33 AM

I agreee with Amos's final comment. The chanteyman seems to be calling the sailors rolling kings rather that refering to any piece of equipment. And given that "rolling" seems to be a common metaphor for "sailing" (cf. Rolling down to old Maui, Roll the woodpile down, Roll the old chariot along, etc.) I would guess that he is calling them "sailing kings" i.e. great sailors. There are a number of chanteys which have lines expressing the idea of "What a great crew we are." and I think this falls into that category.

-Bill


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 04:05 AM

Corruption of "Zulu king" is one popular theory.Analogies may be drawn with the song "Haul'em down, you Zulu warriors"; the objects being hauled down, of course, are not ropes nowadays as the song is generally used.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: okthen
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 04:08 AM

I've always thought of it as being "kings of the rolling sea" but once you start to think about it, it could be something to do with trying to walk a strait line on deck in heavy weather, rolling from side to side, an experianced sailor would be adept at this and said to be "king" of it.

cheers bill


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 09:56 AM

Probably a reference to a popular Rock & Roll singer. Them sailors was always rocking and rolling, acording to their shanties. Could Elvis have time-traveled to South Australia? Inquiring minds would want to know!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Naemanson
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 10:05 AM

I like okthen's explanation. I think sailors would refer to themselves as "the king of..." when they thought they were the best. Thus "Heave away you rolling kings," would refer to the sailors on that watch as being better than those on the other watch.

Alan Villiers in his books mentions a sort of competition between the port and starboard watches as does the author of The Last Grain Race (Charly, who wrote that one?).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 11:13 AM

Consider that, after a few days at sea, a sailor's gait tends to roll when he comes ashore. An old salt going ashore and feeling good could reasonably be called a Rolling King [of the world]. Just my guess but that's the interpretation I generally give out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: An Pluimir Ceolmhar
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 11:52 AM

Ronan Keane, of boyband Boyzone, obviously.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: DonD
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 11:58 AM

Ah, speculation and folk etymology! Since on guess is as good as another ... I postulate:

"Heave away your ol' linking"

Your ol'/old' is simple enough; as for linking -- well. those lines/hawsers/ropes they were hauling were obviously linked to something.

And our friends in Oz can discard out-of-date blue clicky things as they're bound for South Australia.

But let's get to the real question to be deconstructed here:

In the first 'verse' the chanteyman claims to have been born in South Australia, but down near the end he asserts that he is 'Liverpool born and bred'. Aha!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Dicho
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 12:42 PM

May not apply, but "rollimg tackle" is tackle used to steady the yards in a heavy sea. Dana's Dictionary of sea terms. (19th C.).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 01:09 PM

The verse with "Liverpool born & bred" was stolen from "Time for us to leave her" and just goes to prove what I've always said about those theivin' colonials!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 01:17 PM

I'm settling on the oral version, "you rolling kings", since no other explanation really fits and I see no reason to go off to Zululand for an explanation. Old linking doesn't cut it -- it isn't typical of the way words shift around, IMHO, and linking was not a concept used for anything but anchor chain in the days of sail, also IMHO.

"You rolling kings" is a parallel construct to such lines as "my bully bully boys" or "me hearties", or "ye sailors brave and true" -- a fillip to the morale of sweating deckapes under rough conditions.

That's my story and I am sticking to it until other research appears to dissuade me.

Regards,

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 01:49 PM

Ah, but if it started as "rolling king", why did it change to "ruler king"? I think youve got to start at ruler and work back from there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 01:58 PM

Greg --

Don't confuse me with facts. I've made up my mind!! **bg**

Besides I have never heard it with "ruler king" -- you must be mixing it up with Good King Wenceslas or something, eh?? :>)

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Sea shanty question: rolling king? - S. Australia
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 02:07 PM

There was a previous thread on the same topic that provided worthwhile information. I think I'll post that entire thread here and delete the original to avoid duplication.
-Joe Offer-

25-Aug-98 - 05:43 PM (#35961)
Subject: Sea shanty question: rolling king?
From: Jon W.

I just got the CD Blow Boys Blow by MacColl & Lloyd. My question is on the song "South Australia". The phrase
Heave away, you rolling king,
Heave away! Haul away!

appears in the chorus. What significance, if any, has the phrase "rolling king?" Is it a piece of equipment on ship, the ship itself, the ocean, or what?

Full lyrics to the song are in the DT.

Thanks, Jon W.


25-Aug-98 - 07:43 PM (#35970)
Subject: RE: Sea shanty question: rolling king?
From: Dave lever

Rolling King would be a term to describe a sailors ship as the "Rolling King" meaning she rolled the most in bad weather. Generally accepted as an affectionate term for his ships motion in the weather.



Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Naemanson
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 02:45 PM

Rollicking, maybe?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 02:48 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 04:01 PM

I have to agree with Naemanson and Amos above that "Rolling Kings" is really addressed to the intrepid work crew, you rolling kings, the bestest on the old hooker and the bestest on the seven or so seas.

"Ruler Kings" is just someone not hearing the words correctly and repeating that error for the dubious benefit of future generations.

And, Brett, you're thinking of Eric Newby, author of the Grain Races and Learning the Ropes.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 04:06 PM

That explanation, Charlie, neglects the fact that you never hear people referring to the famous rock group the "Ruler Stones"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 04:10 PM

Arggghhhh!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: X
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 05:14 PM

The guy who rolls the best joint?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: DD
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 06:30 PM

must be a banjo roll.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Nancy King at work
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 06:50 PM

My ex, who used to sing this song, once theorized that because sailing to South Australia involved crossing the equator, there would have been a shipboard ceremony upon crossing the line, often involving dressing the first-time line-crossers up as King Neptune. Perhaps these were the "rolling kings." Makes sense to me.

Cheers, Nancy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 07:25 PM

Or "Ruler" or "Zulu" Kings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 07:47 PM

The "Zulu King" tradition lasted into the "second line" dancing in New Orleans traditionalfestivities. Louis Armstrong was crowned as "Zulu King" of the Zulu Nation in full regala for one Mardi Gras. Maybe it still continues, I'm not familiar with current Mardi Gras practise but it was going strong 30 years ago. Whether the Zulu nation chants can be directly related melodically or lyrically to this particular shanty, or to the "Haul'em down you Zulu warriors, Haul'em down you Zulu King" pub chant I dont know, but the sailors certainly carried this stuff around.I think these chants have been studied and recorded, but I'm not familiar with the material. I do seriously feel this is the link between this shanty and other mock ceremonial practises. Whether there are links further back to actual ceremonial African practises would only be conjecture.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: michaelr
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 07:54 PM

Rolling King is what you get if you mix a Rolling Rock with a Little King...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 08:02 PM

Hugill's book has Ruler King, both in the chorusand in a verse where it is used in the specific sense of "something/something that rules". I rest my case.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Naemanson
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 08:48 PM

It ROLLER KING! From the rolls in the player piano the chanty man used to help keep the crews working together.

Or, maybe not....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 09:04 PM

Sure it wasnt the painting teams who were roller kings? And maybe when they took a run ashore they went on a roller blind?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 09:05 PM

A thought to confuse the issue even further... The crews of ships were often called by the name of the ship, or a derivative thereof, as a kind of rallying call to differentiate between ships when seamen were on shore... especially in warships. This habit would be carried over naturally from naval to merchant ships. So, could the "Ruler kings" be the crew of a merchant ship named, for example, Sovereign, or Queen or King somebody or other, as a reference to themselves as the crew of that particular vessel, and as bloody fine seamen as well? As good a theory as any other.....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 09:08 PM

:::giggle!!:::

Well, I'd answer you, Vince, except you already know I have no idea.

Reminds me of an old Saturday Night Live skit...

"I know what *that* is...that's uuuuuhhhh...that's uuuuhhhh....What in hell IS that thing???"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 09:17 PM

Greg, would that also account for being told to get their "skates" on to hurry up doing the work, and also explain that painting was usually done when not at sea... in fact, when the ship was by the "coast"..er. Or pgiving the second coat of paint would be a "roller over"...

Stop me somebody.... HELP!!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: greg stephens
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 09:24 PM

Do rollmops come into this anywhere? Were herrings on sticks perhaps used to clean the paintwork, or decks?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: MMario
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 11:24 PM

herring on a stick?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,ozmacca
Date: 27 Jun 02 - 11:38 PM

Good cod, Mmario, can't you plaice the connection? That's the sole reason that I just hake people who don't get the point. Salmon them are really good, and I reckon they do it on porpoise......

But seriously though, rollmop herrings are usually bits of fish impaled on cocktail sticks. Probably invented by Bismark in his spare time and originally intended to be placed on the spike on top of the pickelhaube, hence the pickled herring......

Another thread successfully hi-jacked. Over to you Greg.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 04:52 AM

Is making puns on fish-names a Celtic cultural practise? Which reminds me I need to buy a new guitar tuna.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 05:16 AM

I also reckon that "Rolling Kings" refers to the shanty crew themselves.

Dead Horse - "Liverpool born and Bred" turns up all over the place (not surprisingly). It's the opening line of "Bring'em Down" - followed of course by "Strong in the arm and thick in the head".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: ozmacca
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 05:28 AM

Mr Stephens... Of course. We believe in pun-ishing anybody who gets caught up in the net.. All shall be weighed in the scales of justice... But that's just a line I use... Get my drift?... Must be in-seine.... I'd purse my lips and say sorry, but... I'm having a whale of a time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 06:00 AM

Sorry, I've gone quiet..can't work up Arbroath Smokie into anything usable. Might be a bit of mileage in marlin-spike I suppose in a shanty context, I'll make you a present of that one. Anyway, must be off, I'm due to run a Latin percussion/Celtic fusion workshop very shortly: the Conga Reels project.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: catspaw49
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 09:02 AM

I think he's the truck driving brother of Sky King.

Now go back to the fishy puns.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 11:11 AM

Please remember that a piano tuner is a large, loud fish!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 01:19 PM

To me Roller King randy dandy I owe?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 03:05 PM

Henry VIII after he got too fat to walk?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: MMario
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 03:16 PM

or Elvis preparing a toke?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 08:15 PM

Mmario! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, man...I gotta work that one in!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: The Pooka
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 10:03 PM

*lol* This thread is a wonderful combination of the informative & the hilarious....Celtic Soul (yesterday's post), honestly, I had thought of another old SNL skit, about the good ship The Raging Queen; got to be derivative from these here Rolling Kings (*purse* your lips indeed, Ozmacca)...but look, does anybody here play sea bass?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 10:24 PM

:::snort!!!:::

Indeed The Pooka! I had not thought of that one. And I think you have it nailed on the head. A wonderful blend of info with a funny bone.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: The Pooka
Date: 28 Jun 02 - 10:35 PM

CS - har har / Actually, the question which titles this thread is one I had sometimes wondered about but never quite had the nerve to ask ("Be careful what you ask for....")

Well, gotta go and Wallop around Cape Horn now..

--As all along the King's Highway, rides

----Willie Brennan Still


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: DMcG
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 03:46 AM

I think it isn't a shanty at all - its a song of finance investors who are against the EEC. The words are actually
Heave away Euro linking


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 08:54 AM

Just to lead us further astray, The Pooka mentioned "Walloping around Cape Horn" (there is the Walloping Window Blind) which I puzzled over for years and didn't dare ask serious sea shanty/chanty/chantey folks about. It might well be word play with regard to the Chilian port of Valpariso, often shortened to Vallipo by sailors, and therefore "Valliping" round Cape Horn makes some kind of sense and could easily be transformed into "walloping". Probably some other tortured soul has figured this one out ages ago but, if not, I'm willing to take full credit.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 10:24 AM

What song has that line (Walloping around Cape Horn) in it?

I know the line "We're bound for Valiporiso round the Horn" is in "Paddy lay back", but the other is not "Striking a Bell".

Ah jeez...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 11:59 AM

"Walloping round Cape Horn" is usually found in "Liverpoole Judies (Row, Bullies, Row)". I think I've also run across the rhyming slang "walloping razors" for Valpariso but I might have dreamed that up (are we really awake yet?).

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: The Pooka
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 12:26 PM

Hey -- "Leading Us Further Astray" is my job description :)

*My* walloping reference is to: South Australia. The old Clancified/Makemized version. Of course. What else? Last verse:

And as we wallop around Cape Horn
Heave away, haul away
You'll wish to God you'd never been born
We're bound for South Australia

*Slightly* different words are on Liam's website (chords, too!): Click here

---Pooka L.U.F.A.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: John Minear
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 02:03 PM

From SLAVE SONGS OF THE GEORGIA SEA ISLANDS, compiled by Lydia Parrish, Athens(GA): University of Georgia Press, 1992 (orig. 1942):

HAUL AWAY, I'M A ROLLIN' KING

Haul away, I'm a rollin' king
Haul away, haul away
I'm boun' for South Austrailia.
Yonder come a flounder flat on the groun'
Haul away, haul away
I'm boun' for South Australia
Belly to the groun' an' back to the sun
Haul away, haul away
I'm boun' for South Australia.
Ain' but one thing worry me
Haul away, haul away
I'm boun' for South Australia.
I leave my wife in Tennessee
Haul away, haul away
Haul away, I'm a rollin' king
Haul away, haul away
I'm boun' for South Australia.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 02:12 PM

Nice catch, Turtle Old Man!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: The Pooka
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 02:28 PM

Wow, yeah! Remarkable. / Thanks T.O.M., for comin' out of your shell with that one! Excellent.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 05:57 PM

Turtle Man...Woah! Yes indeed! Gonna have to maybe cannibalize this one for new verses.

And Pookah, that's interesting. We don't use that verse, and I had not remembered it as being in any other version until now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: The Pooka
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 06:40 PM

Thanks, CS. It's probably *not* in any other version: Clancified, y'know. (God help me, I love 'em still. :)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Mr Red
Date: 29 Jun 02 - 08:33 PM

I like "your ol' linking" sorta believable - folk process an' all

Just to add one more dimension
apart from being popular as an anchor shanty on the good ship Thermopolae (so says Uncle Stan) he makes reference to it being popular as a pump shanty because of the (almost unique) heave and haul in the same song.
He also refers to bell ropes that defines the pump as a Downton pump which is constructed with two big wheels with handles whereon the bell ropes fitted. Tars on both handles and four ropes (pulling in both directions). I have seen archive footage of this.
My point? The big wheels are king size and they roll.
not that I want to muddy the bilge waters.......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Wincing Devil
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 11:50 AM

I was afraid to step back into this one, seems like I've created a monster. Anywho, when I did a Google on Rolling King I came across an old murder case in Prince Georges County, MD; a Cigarette rolling machine and several references to the sea chanty.

The perils of asking a simple queestion on Mudcat!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: The Pooka
Date: 30 Jun 02 - 12:38 PM

Wooh HOO, Wincing Devil, you devil! You've *reconstituted* the thread, you grimacing incubus, you! Wonderful! The Rolling King cigarette machine! Haw Haw / complete with cannabis-related ads. Maybe this thread can coalesce with the ones re New Jersey Smokers & Is Dylan Happy? Harharharhar...Gawbless the Mudcat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 01:19 AM

"Rolling Down To Old Maui" is what you'd do once you hit the trades (depending on weather & sea conditions) sailing to or from the U.S. West Coast & Maui (this happens in all oceans, I've only been in them sailing from Maui to L.A.). The rollers are long & wide ocean swells usually caused by storm systems that continue to roll long after the storm has died down. Usually heading in the same direction as wind. They travel great distances causing the ocean itself to become a long rolling (not rough) sea. The height of these swells can be quite high from crest to trough but they can also be extremely wide so that the motion is a continueous long roll (not an unpleasant motion either). A vessel could to roll across the ocean for days & days on end, if your course is set correct to take advantage of them & you have your sails set just so you would only have to touch the helm once & a while to make minor corrections to your course (unless your ste up for self-steering). Now I don't know if any of this has to do with Rolling Kings or not but I'd say that there's some wiggle room here. Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 11:16 AM

In the crossing the line ceremony, polliwogs(first timers) who could include fairly senior sailors, were inducted by Neptune and his court--his wife, their baby, Davy Jones--into the brotherhood of the sea. And were thereafter Shellbacks. Polliwogs would never have been dressed as His Maritime Highness, Neptune. By the way, I have a Crossing the Line certificate from the Great White Fleet, in which the inductee is a full commander of the US Navy.

Barry, as long as you're going to talk of sailing, bear in mind that when a sailing boat is dead before the wind, it tends to roll. This is one of the reasons a prudent captain sets course slightly off. If he/she doens't it is likely the rail will roll under. Annoying but no biggy on a vessel with decks but in a dinghy or canoe, definitely undesireable.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Russell the Miller
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 01:53 PM

The last time I was in Western Australia (Perth) I asked an old sailor about this. He said it was a derogatory term for someone (or group) who thought they were better than others, the term coming possibly from some chance encounter with the concept of a Bhuddist Wheel-Rolling King.

Telling these "rolling kings" to heave away was a put-down.

That's all I know.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Sorcha
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 01:57 PM

Elvis on roller skates???


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Schantieman
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 02:24 PM

I'm with Mr Red on this. Uncle Stan knew what he was was talking about. He's got a drawing of the Downton pump in his lesser known book called 'Sea Shanties' (what else?).

Steve


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Sibelius
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 02:35 PM

Fantastic. Someone asks a simple question about two simple words in a song and we've been taken on a (ahem) 'roller'-coaster ride through maritime and sailing lore, a couple of thousand years of history, dipped in and out of several languages and cultures, been round the world half a dozen times, taken a break for a joke or two...

And they said folk music and the internet would never mix.

By the way - what's the answer??!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Dead Horse
Date: 30 Sep 02 - 06:33 PM

42!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 01 Oct 02 - 12:41 PM

But the question is "What does 7 x 7 = ?"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 23 Nov 10 - 01:14 AM

What's a "Rolla-King Peruvian"?

http://books.google.com/books?id=lzoWAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=rolla-king&


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,kendall
Date: 23 Nov 10 - 07:16 AM

Maybe it was simply to make a rhyme.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Nov 10 - 07:52 AM

Gibb-

"A rose is a rose is a rose!"

The answer is rephrased on page 2:

"Rolla, (a perfect specimen of a rolla-king Peruvian, who, being bent upon war, it is anticipated will make a noise in the peace.)"

Now that we know what a "rolla-king" is, maybe we can figure out what a "rolla-bowler" is!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gurney
Date: 23 Nov 10 - 10:27 PM

I always thought it was Roller Kings, which makes perfect sense if you accept that the shanyman was praising the crew. Rollers as in Barry Finn's post above.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 03:30 AM

OK, here's an effort to advance some idea that's not a joke or pun :)

1. First, let's remember that there are not too many documented versions of this song in its "original" context. Among them are LA Smith's earliest print mention of 1881, with "ruler king," and Lydia Parrish's "rolling king." (Let us please not speculate anything based on the "Nancy Blair" revival version!) If there was any referential meaning to the phrase, then several if not all of the variations known to us were mondegreens/mis-hearings, either as passed on through tradition or as recorded by collectors. For the sake of argument, let's assume that there *is* something meaningful about the phrase, but let's not assume that any of the forms we known are necessarily original -- i.e. there is something to be found, but stay loose with its form.

2. I have reason to believe that "South Australia" derives in style and spirit from Southern U.S. popular/folk song style in the minstrel genre or in the shared vernacular song traditions of that area that are otherwise hard to separate. This belief is a major assumption in my hypothesis. However, I feel much less certain whether the "South Australia" represents a more or less unique creation on this *model* or whether it might have been a more specific parody or reworking of some yet-to-be-discovered song. To pursue this further, I am going to commit to the idea that it was a parody or that it re-used the basic structure of an existing song.

3. We know that chanties of this sort had highly variable (in many cases, completely un-fixed) solo verses, but that the choruses tended to remain constant. I have said before that the "identity" of a particular shanty lies in its chorus and not *necessarily* anything else. Of course, these choruses, too, were subject to variation but that was the result of oral transmission, not the result of a built in understanding that they should be changed. So they were fairly stable.

4. We also know that many chanties were adapted from songs that originated in non-maritime contexts. There is no reason to assume that "rolling king" has necessarily anything to do with a ship or a deep-water sailor's life/work. I think to do so gets us stuck. Moreover, if, as I am assuming for the sake of argument, "South Australia" was based in another song, then we should be open to seeking a meaning for "rolling king" that fits in non-deepwater contexts.

5. What might these contexts have been? What sort of song was the "original" -- the framework and chorus which was varied, with new context-specific solo verses, to form "South Australia"? I suggest this is where we should be thinking.

6. Along theses lines, I am thinking of the songs of the Black firemen on steamboats. Their worksongs were well known in the mid 19th century. They are songs in which the phrase "heave away" was actually used. Take the example from Allen's SLAVE SONGS (1867):

This is one of the Savannah firemen's songs of which Mr. Kane O'Donnel gave a graphic account in a letter to the Philadelphia Press. "Each company." be says, "has its own set of tunes, its own leader, and doubtless in the growth of time, necessity and invention, its own composer."

Heave away, heave away!
I'd rather court a yellow gal than work for Henry Clay.
Heave away, heave away!
Yellow gal, I want to go,
I'd rather court a yellow gal than work for Henry Clay.
Heave away, Yellow gal, I want to go!


With this I begin to speculate whether "rolling king"/"ruler king" could mean something in reference to riverboats. Isn't there a big wheel that "rolls"? Didn't these boats have names with "King" or "Queen" in them?

In the 1868 article on "Songs of the Slave" (McBride's Magazine, no. 2), there is a "steamboat song" with this text:

What boat is that my darling honey?
    Oh, oh ho, ho ay yah yah-ah!
She is the "River Ruler"; yes my honey!
    Ah a... yah a...ah!


So, "River Ruler" is the name of the boat. Ruler King? Rolling King?

Speculation, but an attempt to think outside the hull!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 09:00 AM

Gibb-

Well argued as usual!

"Heave away, you rolling king" may simply be a description of what the stevedore was doing while shifting a bale of cotton along the dock or up the gangplank of a ship.

One gets a similar sense of what the stevedores were doing from this verse from a minstrel song from the 1850's:

As sung by J. Smith of White's Serenaders at the Melodeon, New York City, from White's New Ethiopian Song Book, published by T.B. Peterson & Bros., Philadelphia, US, 1854, p. 71,

Storm Along Stormy

O I wish I was in Mobile bay,
Storm along, Stormy.
Screwing cotton all de day,
Storm along, Stormy.
O you rollers storm along,
Storm along, Stormy.
Hoist away an' sing dis song,
Storm along, Stormy.

And, of course, this may be our first encounter with "Stormy" as well.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 10:58 AM

My songbooks have "ruler king". Would editors and singers interpret this text as directed against the British monarchy? Does the imagined singer return home to join republican revolutionaries, following the example of the USA? Freudian mondegreen? What do you think or know?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Bernard
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 11:02 AM

Just to complicate things further, back in the late 60s I heard it sung as:

'Haul away your rolling gear
Heave away, haul away,
Haul away is all you'll hear
We're bound for South Australia'

I'm guessing that the above isn't authentic, possibly even changed by the singer for some reason, but it's the first version I can recall and was how I sang it for many years.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 02:35 PM

Thanks, Charley.

I was thinking also of rolling bales of cotton

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=126347#2871899

like maybe the guys who did it and were real "badasses" at it were "rolling kings"!

However, I'm not aware of any songs for rolling cotton bales.

And South Australia in its form doesnt seem like it would be good for cotton screwing. Incidentally, I don't recall any of the confirmed cotton screwing songs having a "heave away" command in them -- which doesn't necessarilly mean anything, because "heave away" could have been added at any time. But FWIW (we've had this discussion!) I don't think the screwing of cotton was a clear "heaving" action either. Whereas, for the sake of arument, the firemen on steamboat were heaving wood into the furnaces, presumably at a pretty fast tempo (menable to South Australia) and there is at least one song that shows the use of the phrase "heave away."

But none of these observations proves anything one way or the other. It is just my current thinking, which will probably change again by next week!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 05:14 AM

A couple examples of evidently floating verse that ring similar to "South Australia"--

The article "Hymns of the Slave and the Freedman" (New England Magazine, 1899) has the song "Gwine to Jine De Band" with the line:

Haint but one thing grieves my mind
Band of angels leaves me behind

link

The University of Texas Community Song Book (1918) has the song "The Old Ark's A-Movering" with the line:

Th'aint but the one thing grieves my mind
Sister's gone to Heav'n and left a me behind

link


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 13 Feb 11 - 10:06 PM

Journal of American Folklore vol 24 (1911), in an article on "Negro Folk-Song and Folk-Poetry", has this lyric in the song "Take Your Time":

Tain't but the one thing grieve my mind:
Goin' away, babe, an' leave you behin'

http://books.google.com/books?id=7zedAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA274&dq=gwine+%22grieve+my+min

Context: The idea I'm advancing by quoting these lyrics is that the lyrical style of "South Australia" matches the style of African-American folk songs AND/OR American minstrel songs. Like many chanties, I think South Australia is cut from that cloth, so it's possible that the elusive "Rolling King" will be found in the language of that cultural context rather than, say, in anything Australian. "Rolling King" may have originated as a chorus before the Australia-specific theme was created.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Russell Slye
Date: 01 Apr 11 - 10:54 PM

When I was in Perth (about 1970) I met an old sailor in a bar. I found he had sailed on the Moshulu (4 masted barque moored in Philly now) during the grain trade. I asked him about Rolling Kings. His reply (abridged): "We went ashore in India and other places, and heard about a wheel-rolling-king who was a a big boss of everything. Well, when the crew was working hauling, those who wasn't pulling too hard were called rolling kings because they was acting high and mighty." So, it is a derogatory term for slackers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 03:30 AM

Russell--

I don't get what King Ashoka has to do with it. Sounds like a bunch of nonsense influenced by some reading. Seems doubtful that people in "India and other places" would be chatting about the Buddhist ruler from B.C. times and calling him a "wheel-rolling king". Especially as, I believe (?), the "wheel" he rolled was the Wheel of Dharma. Too esoteric. If anything, they'd call him Ashoka.

****
The Hatfield-collected version has not come yet into this thread, so:

1946       Hatfield, James Taft. "Some Nineteenth Century Shanties." _Journal of American Folklore_ 59(232): 108-113.

In 1886, prior to July, Hatfield traveled from Pensacola to Nice on the bark AHKERA. The crew was, evidently, all Black men from Jamaica.

Here is their text for "South Australia," as presented by Hatfield.

CHO: Hooray! You're a lanky!
Heave away haul away! Hooray You're a lanky!
I'm bound for South Australia
SOLO: What makes you call me a ruler and king?
CHO: Heave away! Haul away!
SOLO: 'Cause I'm married to an Indian queen,
CHO: I'm bound for South Australia

"Lanky" would present another obscure reference. However, I think it's possible that "lanky" is part of a mondegreen.

You'Re a LaNKy = yrlnk
You RoLliN' King = yrlnk

The main consonants are the same. Which, perhaps, is correct, and which is mondegreen?

Quite likely that the phrase did not scan for Hatfield and he put out the best he could figure out. However, he did record "ruler and king" for a solo line, suggesting that perhaps that phrase was most accurate. And L.A. Smith did also record "ruler king" in her early (pre1888) version.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 09:48 PM

The "Rolling Kings" were a street gang, similar to the Latin Kings or the Crips in the US. They would roll drunken seamen, shanghai them, and do other nasty things to them. When one was found aboard ship he was hauled up to the first spar (by a rope around his neck).

You can trust me, I'm a retired librarian....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Charles Biada
Date: 04 Apr 11 - 11:34 PM

Could "a lanky" be corrupted from "a Yankee," and therefore Hatfield's song derived from a narrative about fugitive slaves escaping north (or perhaps south, making "Indian queen" a reference to indigenous groups like the Seminole that incorporated escaped African slaves into their societies)?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 05 Apr 11 - 03:16 AM

I was considering writing a musical version of The Kings speech performed on roller skates. i thought maybe I could work the 'stuttering jams' in from an earlier thread.

In the tradtion, of course....the thing is, could I get a grant for it? Everything in the tradition should get a grant, if you want it played on the BBC. And could we fit all the Copper family and The Watersons on roller skates, into a church hall for the compulsory tour?

I don't think it would work.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 11 - 09:29 AM

The Rolling Kings are a wicked Celtic band from newfoundland.

therollingkings.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Thomas
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 05:02 PM

Sailing from Ireland,or England, to Australia would take you 'round the southern tip of Africa and not the more famous Cape Horn (this would be passed when sailing from Australia back into the Atlantic). The song is more of a particularly catchy tune, loaded with nice old nautical terms, rather than an accurate historical reference.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Eric Hayman
Date: 26 Jun 11 - 06:16 PM

In 1974 I worked my passage on the German owned, German officered, Cape Verde Islander crewed MV Wesersand from Dakar in Senegal as the cook's mate. For the first few days on the bulk carrier, I was so seasick I survived on coffee and ships' biscuits. But by the time we passed through the Bay of Biscay in a force seven storm, I had found my sealegs.

As we came up the Channel, the engineer's mate shouted to me as he was going down to the engine room: "Ja, Eric! Rolling home to England?" And, boy, were we rolling - 22 degrees to starboard, followed by 22 degrees to port. Our cargo - ilmenite ore - filled only the very bottom of the hold, so it acted like a pendulum. And the bunks were across the ship, making lying in them like being on a fairground swingboat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 27 Jun 11 - 04:22 PM

GUEST,Thomas--

What you say is certainly correct about the typical route and why the "Cape Horn" lyric sounds kind of funky. The "Cape Horn" lyric may, however, have been merely a "floating" lyric. It has become one today. Or, if my theory is correct :) it is an adaptation of a more typical sort of floating lyric in Southern U.S. songs, in which one rhymes "born" with "corn". It's a parody of sorts on that model, where the nautical sounding "Cape Horn" was substituted. But that's just a theory.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 06:32 AM

Attempt at...the start of a more systematic look at the evidence....

Earliest published document of the song, to my knowledge:

1888[June 1887]        Smith, Laura Alexandrine. _The Music of the Waters_. London: Kegan, Paul, Trench & Co.

Calls it a capstan song.

I give the melody as I got it from a coloured seaman at the “Home,” together with a verbatim copy of his verses :"

[W/ score - starts with grand chorus. I've parsed the verses, below.]

Solo."South Australia is my native home,
Chorus."Heave away! Heave away!
Solo."South Australia, &c.
Chorus."I am bound to South Australia,
Heave away! Heave away!
Heave away, you ruler king,
I am bound to South Australia.

Solo."There ain't but the one thing grieves my mind,
Chorus."Heave, &c.
Solo."To leave my dear wife and child behind.
Chorus."I am bound, &c.

Solo."I see my wife standing on the quay,
The tears do start as she waves to me.

When I am on a foreign shore,
I'll think of the wife that I adore.

Those crosses you see at the bottom of the lines,
Are only to put me in mind.

As I was standing on the pier,
A fair young maid to me appeared.

As I am standing on a foreign shore,
I'll drink to the girl that I adore.

For I'll tell you the truth, and I'll tell you no lie,
If I don't love that girl I hope I may die.

Liza Lee, she promised me,
When I returned she would marry me.

And now I am on a foreign strand,
With a glass of whisky in my hand;

And I'll drink a glass to the foreign shore,
And one to the girl that I adore.

When I am homeward bound again,
My name I'll publish on the main.

With a good ship and a jolly crew,
A good captain and chief mate, too,

Now fare thee well, fare thee well,
For sweet news to my girl I'll tell.

Note -- and this is important -- that the tune is such that, in the first short chorus, the rhythmic emphasis (first beat of bars) comes not on HEAVE away, HEAVE away, but rather as 'heave a-WAY, heave a-WAY".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 06:40 AM

1900[June]        Patterson, J.E. “Sailors’ Work Songs.” _Good Words_ 41(28) (June 1900): 391-397.

Mentions a song that might be "South Australia".

Unless the cable has been previously shortened in, one song will not last till the anchor is apeak. Thus "Rolling Home " will probably be followed by "Roll the Cotton Down ""a "chanty" that is only suitable for capstan and windlass work, and is a great favourite with the negro cotton-stowers on the Mississippi"or "The Australian Girl," or "Bound to Western Australia," which are also heaving "chanties" only.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 03:00 PM

1902        Keeler, Charles. A Wanderer’s Songs of the Sea. San Francisco: A.M. Robertson.

Composed poems/songs inspired by chanties. The preface says,

In a few chanties of this collection, notably "South Australia," "Storm Along," and "Haul Away, Joe," I have preserved the refrain of the sailors, and in all of them I have aimed to give something of the spirit of the men who go down to the sea in ships.

His “South Australia” has both “heave away” and “haul away.” Since that song has only turned up in print once so far (with “heave” consistently), has he made this up or does this provide evidence of a heard version that actually mixes the two?


SOUTH AUSTRALIA.

Our bark for South Australia sails
And on we ride through trades and gales;
Heave away, haul away!

In South Australia I was reared,
And in its bush I grew my beard;
Heave away, haul away!

I love its horses and its men,
I love its wattles in the glen;
Heave away, haul away!

I've roamed through gum-trees' endless shade,
I've herded sheep from glade to glade;
Heave away, haul away!

I've mined for gold, I've played for gain,
And cruised along the Spanish Main;
Heave away, haul away!

0 South Australia's wild and free!
1 had a girl, but she jilted me;
Heave away, haul away!

She stole my watch and ran away,
I'll meet my Kate again some day!
Heave away, haul away!

For we're bound for South Australia's shore
And Kate will greet me as of yore,
Heave aivay, haul away!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 03:11 PM

1909        Williams, James H. “The Sailors’ ‘Chanties’.” The Independent (8 July 1909):76-83.

Williams' time to have been singing these was ca. 1875-88. We was an African-American sailor. Mentions the song by title alone.

"Santa Ana" and "The Plains of Mexico" commemorate the war with Mexico in the same way. "California Gold," "South Australia" and the "Banks of Sacramento" remind us of the gold-fever days and need no explanation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 04:26 PM

There is an old song "The Rolling Sailor."
thread.cfm?threadid=78363#1472518 (Remember Charley?)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 09:33 PM

From Saga of a Wayward Sailor by Tristan Jones (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. : Sheridan House, 1995) [originally published 1979] page 214:

In the original version, as Tansy Lee (1866-1958) sang it, "Rolling Kings" was "rollikins" which is an old English term for drunkards. However, the Australian, when drunk, is a "rolling King."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 31 Jul 11 - 10:11 PM

The Oxford English Dictionary gives no indication that the noun "rollikin" has ever existed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 05:41 AM

1946        Hatfield, James Taft. “Some Nineteenth Century Shanties.” _Journal of American Folklore_ 59(232): 108-113.

In 1886, prior to July, Hatfield traveled from Pensacola to Nice on the bark AHKERA, during which time he noted his chanties from the crew, who were all Black men from Jamaica.

W/ score.


9. South Australia

CHO: Hooray! You're a lanky!
Heave away haul away! Hooray You're a lanky!
I'm bound for South Australia
SOLO: What makes you call me a ruler and king?
CHO: Heave away! Haul away!
SOLO: ‘Cause I'm married to an Indian queen,
CHO: I'm bound for South Australia

'Cause I wear a diamond ring.


As in LA Smith's transcription, the emphasis is "heave a-WAY".
I believe, as per an earier post above, that "You're a lanky" is a mishearing of "You rolling/ruling king." One cause for the mishearing would have been the way the words are set to the rhythm. Unlike in today's popular version, the emphasis here is on the the 'L', i.e. 'you ruLING king'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: meself
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 10:47 AM

In 'today's popular version', I suggest replacing the line "Heave away, you rolling king" with the title of this thread: "What the hell's a rolling king?" (Heave away! Haul away!).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 06:32 PM

1942        Parrish, Lydia. _Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands_. New York: Creative Age Press.

This item was posted by John Minear back in June 2002, but couldn't hurt refreshing.

Parrish collected/heard songs on St. Simon's Island, Georgia, in 1910s-1930s. Unclear when this one was taken down and whether or not it might be a collated version of several hearings. No musical score accompanies it. It is generally attributed to the shanty singers of the island.

HAUL AWAY, I’M A ROLLIN’ KING

Haul away, I’m a rollin’ king
        Haul away, haul away
I’m boun’ for South Australia.
Yonder come a flounder flat on the groun’
Haul away, haul away
I’m boun’ for South Australia.
Belly to the groun’ an’ back to the sun
Haul away, haul away
I’m boun’ for South Australia.
Ain’ but one thing worry me
Haul away, haul away
I’m boun’ for South Australia.
I leave my wife in Tennessee
Haul away, haul away
I’m boun’ for South Australia.
Haul away, I’m a rollin’ king
Haul away, haul away
I’m boun’ for South Australia.


Because it lacks musical score, it's hard to say whether it really was missing lines in its form, i.e. compared to what we're accustomed to, or whether, perhaps, Parrish's notes were imperfect.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 06:49 PM

1951        Doerflinger, William Main. _Shantymen and Shantyboys: Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman_. Macmillan: New York.

This was collected from William Laurie, born 1862 in Greenock, Scotland. Went to sea circa 1876.

Doerflinger recorded him in 1940 where he had settled at Sailors’ Snug Harbor, NY. Just one verse and chorus.

South Australia

Oh, in South Australia where I was born,
Heave away, haul away!
In South Australia ‘round Cape Horn,
I’m bound for South Australia!
Heave away, you ruler king,
Heave away, haul away!
Heave a way, don’t you hear me sing?
We’re bound for South Australia!


The notable things about the music are:

1) Again, the emphasis goes "heave a-WAY".
2) As in Hatfield's version ('you're a LANky'), the rhythmic emphasis in the analogous spot goes "you ru-LER king." This, I think, lends credence to my idea that the "lanky" bit was a mondegreen.
[Compare contemporary verion's emphasis, "You RU-ler king".]

I presume the actual recording of this is in the Library of Congress somewhere? Or is it one of Doerflinger's recordings that got destroyed? Anybody heard it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 07:51 PM

1962        Harlow, Frederick Pease. _Chanteying Aboard American Ships_. Barre, Mass.: Barre Publishing Co.

Supposed to have been heard aboard the AKBAR, 1875/76. It was sung off Melbourne by "Dave" at the windlass, who,

...could hardly wait for the order to Heave away," before he started the home chantey that he had prepared and taught the other members of the crew the day before...."


South Australia is my native land.
Heave away! Heave away!
Mountains rich in quartz and sand.
I am bound for South Australia.
Heave away! Heave away!
Heave away, you Ruler King,
I am bound for South Australia.
...


It continues with many incidental verses not adopted elsewhere.

The music given compares well with the tune in LA Smith. One might expect all the tunes to be quite similar, however, Laurie's (Doerflinger) and Hatfield's are similar, whereas Smith's and Harlow's represent a different style. Note that Harlow did read Smith. His lyrics are completely independent of hers, but perhaps after all those years he needed some help remembering the tune? Also note that Harlow's tune notation has something a bit "off" about it rhythmically, like some error in barring was made, and some emphases have been shifted. So, though the *contour* of Harlow's melody is very close to Smith's, the emphasis here is like "HEAVE away."

Interesting that the chantyman in Harlow's description had to teach the song to the crew. Perhaps it was relatively new, in ca.1876. All of the other accounts (so far listed) are by people who would not have been in a position to hear the song until after 1875, so this may be the case.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 08:09 PM

Carpenter Collection:

Reece Baldwyn of Wales (sea service dates 1879-1908) sang 2 stanzas in 1929, starting,

Have you seen my bowery queen?

This was issued on Folktrax.

J.S. Scott of London (sailed 1863-?) sang 6 stanzas in 1929, starting

Don't you hear what the Captain say

For those who heard either recording: are they discernible? Can you comment on the tunes -- perhaps specifically on their emphases?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 08:15 PM

I've edited the following excerpt of a note from Lighter on the Gordon collection, from elsewhere.

Subject: RE: The Advent and Development of Chanties
From: GUEST,Lighter - PM
Date: 22 Feb 11 - 08:39 PM

In 1922-23, Robert W. Gordon recorded a number of shanties and forebitters from retired sailors in the San Francisco Bay area. His understanding was that all the singers had formed their repertoires before 1880. ...

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress transferred the wax cylinders to tape in the 1970s.


One of the recorded items is "South Australia."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 08:44 PM

1911        Morrison, K.E. “For a Scout’s Honor.” Boys’ Life 1(4) (June 1911).

A Play in Four Acts, Presented by Troop 2, Norwich, Conn., Boy Scouts of America.

In the middle of the play, the scouts are instructed to sing a specially arranged medley.

It is indicated that it should be sung to the tune of “Australia”. It seems like the CAPE COD GIRLS form -- closely related to what we call "South Australia":

Old Norwich City is a great old town.
(Chorus) Heave away! Heave away!
With its streets and alleys up and down.
(Chorus) Heave away! Heave away!
(All) Heave away, my bonny, bonny boys. Heave away; Heave away. Heave away, my bonnie, bonnie boys. We’re out in the country…


This suggest that "South Australia" was a popular song "in the air" by that time.

Note that what is now conceived of as a separate "Cape Cod Girls" form has its "heave away" emphasized "heave aWAY."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 08:53 PM

1916[May]        Associated Harvard Clubs. _Book of Songs_. Chicago: Lakeside Press.

Collected Songbook for the university. Contains an adaptation of CAPE COD GIRLS form. This would be the "Australia" referred to in the last reference. No tune given here, so it must have been well known.

(There seems to be an imitation of military band percussion, as if this had been used as a marching song perhaps.)


AUSTRALIA

BR-R-ROOM, poom, poom, poom, POOM, poom, poom, poomp, yi-di, yi-di, yi-di, yi-di, yum, poomp, _poomp_, poomp, _poomp_, poomp, _poomp_.
Australia is a very find [sic] place,
Heave away! Heave away!
To come from there is no disgrace,
Heave away! Heave away! Heave away! My bonny, bonny boys,
Heave away! Heave away! Heave away! My bonny, bonny boys,
We’re off for Australia.

BR-R-ROOM, poom, poom, poom, POOM, poom, poom, poomp, yi-di, yi-di, yi-di, yi-di, yum, poomp, _poomp_, poomp, _poomp_, poomp, _poomp_.

Australian girls are very fine girls,
Keep away! Keep away!
With codfish bones they comb their curls,
Keep away! Keep away! Keep away! My bonny, bonny boys,
Keep away! Keep away! Keep away! My bonny, bonny boys,
We’re off for Australia.

BR-R-ROOM, poom, poom, poom, POOM, poom, poom, poomp, yi-di, yi-di, yi-di, yi-di, yum, poomp, _poomp_, poomp, _poomp_, poomp, _poomp_.

Australian booze is very fine booze,
Keep away! Keep away!
‘Twill make you as tight as a new pair of shoes,
Keep away! Keep away! Keep away! My bonny, bonny boys,
Keep away! Keep away! Keep away! My bonny, bonny boys,
We’re off for Australia.

BR-R-ROOM, poom, poom, poom, POOM, poom, poom, poomp, yi-di, di-di, yi-di, yi-di, yum, POOMP.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 09:08 PM

1938         Colcord, Joanna C. Songs of American Sailormen. New York: Norton.

The Codfish Shanty

Glo'ster girls they have no combs,
Heave away, heave away!
They comb their hair with codfish bones,
We're bound for South Australia.

Heave away, my bully bully boys,
Heave away, heave away!
Heave away, why don't you make a noise?
We're bound for South Australia.

Glo'ster boys they have no sleds,
Heave away, heave away!
They slide down hill on codfish heads.
We're bound for South Australia.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 10:23 PM

Hugill, Shanties from the Seven Seas, 1961.

Hugill's presentation is a mish-mash of things he'd read and jumping to vague conclusions.

He does not say where he learned it from, leaving us to speculate. I can say that he typically *does* tell where he learned a song from, if from a human source. *Sometimes*, I suppose, he doesn't say that because the chanty is just so common (eg Rio Grande) that one would assume everyone sang it. IMO that assumption can't be made about "South Australia." We've seen that it was relatively infrequently noted.

The material that Hugill presents does more to suggest he *may* not have been familiar with the song. He reprints Harlow's very ad-libby text, from which I think he draws the ideas that "This was a shanty which had a rather poor regulation pattern and all shantymen had to improvise to make it see the job through." And he reprints Laurie's (Doerflinger) tune, though he does not comment on how different it is from his own (I assume he never heard the tune, since he didn't read music and likely did not hear the recording).

Hugill did not have access to Hatfield's work at this time, so the only other presentation he had access to was LA Smith's, which he critiques as follows:

"Miss L.A. Smith's rhyming lines are rather too sentimental and 'shore-ified' to ring genuine. She makes too much use of the word 'main', a word sailors never used for 'sea'."

In fact, she only used the word 'main' once, and at least she told her source, a Black sailor at the Sailors' Home. Perhaps she did tweak a few words.

The irony is that Hugill's main presentation of this reads like something he made at the time of publication that was based off of Smith's presentation. The other collected versions of "South Australia" give no indication that the verses were consistent enough (and Hugill even says himself that they weren't!) such that his verses could just happen to be similar. No, he used them as a base and "fixed" them according to what he thought would be more authentic language. A comparison of lyrics will follow in another post.

Hugill's tune (in the book) is of the Smith and Harlow family, but with some differences. Though it's hard to say with Hugill's tunes (often mis-transcribed), these small differences are the best evidence I can find to support (i.e. from the text alone) that Hugill had an independent, orally-learned version.

However, ironically again, that is undermined by the fact that on his live recordings, Hugill is not singing the tune presented in his book. He is singing what I understand to be the revival tune popularized by Lloyd et. al.

In this I conclude that nothing Hugill wrote about the song can be taken as authoritative.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 02:02 AM

Colcord. I need to look at this again (don't have the book with me), but I seem to remember the tune was like (?but how alike?) Smith's. Here's the text:

South Australia is my home,
Heave away, heave away!
South Australia is my home,
I'm bound for South Australia!

Heave away, heave away, Heave away, you rolling king,
I'm bound for South Australia!

There ain't but the one thing grieves my mind,
To leave my wife and child behind.

My wife is standing on the quay;
The tears do start as she waves to me.

Now fare you well and fare you well;
Now fare you well, I wish you well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 02:50 AM

Hugill's main text presentation of "South Australia," compared with LA Smith's and Colcord's.

1. South Australia is me home,
Heave away! Heave away!
South Australia is me home,
An' we're [I'm] bound for South Australia!
Heave away! Heave away!
Heave away you Rolling King [Ruler King]
An' we're [I'm] bound for South Australia!


Colcord had:
South Australia is my home,
Heave away, heave away!
South Australia is my home,
I'm bound for South Australia!
Heave away, heave away,
Heave away, you rolling king,
I'm bound for South Australia!

2. My wife is standin' on the quay,
The tears do start as she waves to me,


Colcord had:
My wife is standing on the quay;
The tears do start as she waves to me.

Smith had:
I see my wife standing on the quay,
The tears do start as she waves to me.

3. An' when I'm on a foreign shore,
I'll think o' me darlin' that I adore.


Smith had:
When I am on a foreign shore,
I'll think of the wife that I adore.

4. There ain't but one thing grieves me mind,
To leave my wife an' child behind.


Colcord had:
There ain't but the one thing grieves my mind,
To leave my wife and child behind.

Smith had:
There ain't but the one thing grieves my mind,
To leave my dear wife and child behind.

5. There ain't but one thing griev-es me
An' that's me wife an' dear ba-bee.


A Hugill original. IMO the "griev-es me" sounds a bit funky.

6. An' as I stand on a foreign shore,
I'll drink to the wife that I adore.


Smith had:
As I am standing on a foreign shore,
I'll drink to the girl that I adore.

7. Now I'm on a foreign strand,
With a glass o' pisco [samshu, sakee, vino, etc.] in me hand.


Smith had:
And now I am on a foreign strand,
With a glass of whisky in my hand;

8. I'll drink a glass to my own shore,
I'll drink to the gal that I adore.


Smith had:
And I'll drink a glass to the foreign shore,
And one to the girl that I adore.

9. I'll tell ye now, it ain't no lie,
I'll love that gal until I die


Smith had:
For I'll tell you the truth, and I'll tell you no lie,
If I don't love that girl I hope I may die.

10. This cross ye see at the bottom of the line,
Is only to keep ye in my mind.


Smith had:
Those crosses you see at the bottom of the lines,
Are only to put me in mind.

11. Now we're homeward bound again,
I'll soon he seeing Sarah Jane.


Smith had:
When I am homeward bound again,
My name I'll publish on the main.

Seeing his dislike of 'main', Hugill made up a new rhyme for this one.

12. Oh, fare-ye-well, now fare-ye-well,
Oh, fare-ye-well, I wish ye well.


Colcord had:
Now fare you well and fare you well;
Now fare you well, I wish you well.

So, one can see that Hugill's presentation comes from Smith and Colcord (also probably influenced by Smith).

It quite possible, then, that Hugill did not have his own formed idea of the song until he adopted the recorded Revival version, e.g. Lloyd and MacColl on 1960's "Blow Boys Blow."

I might add that I do love Hugill's singing of the song. And as he "lived" with it, he put on his own touches. All that I am saying here is that while his presentation may be informative for the novice, it does not provide us with any historical information.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 03:36 AM

There are more books that offer "South Australia," however I'm not sure how original those are. Also, by way of disclaimer, I have not heard the Carpenter or Gordon recordings, so I don't know their texts and tunes.

However -- Looking at the evidence and turning attention to the question in the title of this thread:

LA Smith had:
"Heave away, you ruler king,"

Hatfield:
"Hooray You're a lanky!", which I've suggested is a mondegreen of "hooray you ruling/rolling king." Verses include, "What makes you call me a ruler and king?/‘Cause I'm married to an Indian queen,"

Parrish:
"Haul away, I’m a rollin’ king"

Doerflinger:
"Heave away, you ruler king,"

Harlow:
"Heave away, you Ruler King,"

Baldwyn:
has verse, "Have you seen my bowery queen?"

Colcord:
"Heave away, you rolling king,"

It certainly doesn't provide any clear answer. If I may hazard an interpretation: "Ruler/ruling" seems to dominate. The only ones with "Rolling" are Parrish and Colcord. Colcord's I am suspicious of; I need to know more about how she obtained it and what she *might* have inferred, since it is not a strictly field-collected version. That leaves Parrish's Georgia Islands singers. They are the only ones to make the phrase "I'm a..." rather than "you..." This somewhat limits the meaning of the phrase "rolling king." My instinct tells me that this version is more likely to have been a mondegreen.


Additional note:
Doerflinger's is the only source I've seen to use, the chorus with
"Heave away, don’t you hear me sing?" It is a distinct chorus form.

I know AL Lloyd's source is a mystery (?). However, if it was not based in an oral source, it looks most likely it was based (chorus and tune) off Doerflinger's book. It has the "hear me sing," and, if one does not read the very convoluted notation meticulously, one can get the tune he used.

BTW, Lloyd sang "lollop around Cape Horn." The Clancys in 1962 probably introduced "wallop".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Russell Slye
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 12:26 PM

Gibb Sahib,
I'm sure you know more about the subject than the Austrailian sailor I talked to who was on the ship during the grain trade. Thanks for your insight.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 19 Aug 11 - 01:51 PM

Russell, I don't care if the Australian sailor had verses of "South Australia" tattooed on his chest next to a picture of Miss Nancy Blair in a turtleneck sweater being "walloped" around Cape Vegemite. Either he was selling you a line of BS, he'd gone senile by that time, or someone's critical faculties were severely impaired by the "she-oak" at the bar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Snuffy
Date: 20 Aug 11 - 01:19 PM

The two Carpenter recordings have different tunes, but both put the stress on a-WAY, rather than HEAVE. And interestingly, neither of them have anything like a rolling/ruling king.

Rees Baldwin
Have you seen my Bowery queen
Haul away, heave away
Have you seen my Bowery queen
For we are bound for South Australia

Heave away, haul away
Heave away, haul away
For we are bound for South Australia

Way down south, where I was born
Heave away, haul away
Among the fields of yellow corn
For we are bound for South Australia

note that in verse 1 it is "Haul away, heave away", while in Verse 2 the order is reversed.
------------------------------------------

J S Scott

Heave away, my lowlands below
Heave away, heave away
Heave away, my [dirty loving Flo?]
Cos we're bound for South Australia

Oh South Australia is the place for me
Heave away, heave away
We [work?] all the money and we goes on the spree
And we're bound for South Australia

Heave away, my lowlands below
Heave away, heave away
Heave away, my [dirty loving Flo?]
Cos we're bound for South Australia

There's a nice [get in] on Australia's shore
Heave away, heave away
I'm not going to sea no more
And we're bound for South Australia

Heave away, my lowlands below
Heave away, heave away
Heave away, my [dirty loving Flo?]
Cos we're bound for South Australia

much of Scott's singing is very unclear, but it is definitely all heaving, and no hauling


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 03:38 AM

Thanks for the transcriptions, Snuffy!

Very interesting the lack of "king". And quite notable, I think, that the short refrains are emphasized as you say. That would mean that most documented versions -- perhaps all, in fact, except for Harlow's, which I think may have notation errors -- use the "heave a-WAY" pattern. The "feel" of that is quite different than the "HEAVE away" we've become accustomed to in Lloyd's beloved creation.


Baldwyn's line of "Among the fields of yellow corn" adds evidence to support my theory that the song was a parody of or otherwise inspired by some "downhome" (i.e. Southern U.S., minstrel-ish) song, where a typical floating verse rhymes "born" with "corn".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 09:36 AM

I've listened several times now, with various equalizer settings, and I believe that Scott sings as follows,

Heave away, my lowlands so low
Heave away, heave away
Heave away, why don't you let us know?
For we're bound for South Australia

Oh, South Australier is the place for me
Heave away, heave away
We work for the money and we goes on the spree
And we're bound for South Australia

Heave away, my lowlands so low
Heave away, heave away
Heave away, why don't you let us know?
For we're bound for South Australia

That's a nice girl on Australia's shore
Heave away, heave away
I'm going round since I'll not going to sea any more [sic]
And we're bound for South Australia

Heave away, my lowlands so low
Heave away, heave away
Heave away, why don't you let us know?
For we're bound for South Australia


The "going round" line obviously needs extra beats. Scott sings it pretty smoothly, but I think he gets off on the wrong foot and stumbles while correcting himself.

If you've read Dickens, you may remember that some some of his Cockney characters pronounce "w" as "v." I've never heard that in real life - except in Scott's recordings. He does it all the time!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: gnu
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 10:57 AM

I thought Bobert was The Rolling King.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: ripov
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 12:18 PM

Don't know about "Rolling Kings". Maybe a corruption of "Villikins", implying lovestruck youths? (Villikins and his Dinah 1850).

Walloping is interesting, derived from french "galoper" (to gallop) in its g>w form. Also meaning "boiling", as in "poultice-wallopers" (medical orderlies), this use appears to cease after wwII. Strange it should suddenly recur in the late 60's.
But "galloping round the Horn" - sounds reasonable, especially on those white horses (not six of them I hope!)
There is a related meaning of painting, particularly large surfaces, with whitewash, so perhaps the paint-roller allusion has some basis!

As to the "v" and "w" interchange in Cockney, the community has changed now, but from well before Dickens' period until about 1970 the population of the East End good description here contained many seamen, and traders, perhaps from countries whose languages (eg Polish), have no "v" sound, so they just did their best to pronounce it. (My friend's father owned a "Wauxhall" car) The "w" pronounced "v" is from those of German origin (Think "Bay-eM-Vay as J.S.Bach's musical catalogue numbers).(Or Villikins = Willikins = Little Willie).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 21 Aug 11 - 06:32 PM

Hi Snuffy and Lighter,

I know you guys are among the regular posters here that have done the most hard work deciphering these cylinder recordings. So.. What do you make of the "South Australia" transcription by Carpenter, ascribed to JS Scott, that is is logged in the Carpenter Collection on-line (presumably by Bob Walser)? The first line is evidently, "Don't you hear what the Captain say," and there are 6 stanzas.

Carpenter Collection item, MS p. 03526

Do you think it belonged to another performance by Scott, or it was it perhaps an unrecorded stanza preceding you guys' five, or what?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 06:17 AM

I'm sure th answer is here somewhere
From 'The Sailors' Word Book a classic source for 14,000 nautical and naval terms' by Admiral W.H. Smyth - London 1867
Jim Carroll

ROLLER. A mighty oceanic swell said to precurse the northers of the Atlantic, and felt in great violence at Tristan d'Acunha, where H.M.S. Lily foundered with all hands in consequence, and several vessels at St. Helena have been driven from their anchors and wrecked. These waves roll in from the north, and do not break till they reach soundings, when they evince terrific power, rising from 5 to 15 feet above the usual level of the waters.    A connection with volcanoes has been suggested as a cause.

ROLLERS. Cylindrical pieces of timber, fixed either horizontally or vertically in different parts of a ship above the deck, so as to revolve on an axis, and prevent the cables, hawsers, and running rigging from being chafed, by lessening their friction. The same as friction roller. Also, movable pieces of wood of the same figure, which are occasionally j^laced under boats, pieces of heavy timber, &c.

ROLLING. That oscillatory motion by which the waves rock a ship from side to side. The larger part of this disturbance is owing to the depth of the centre of gravity below the centre of figure, the former exercising a violent re-action when disturbed from its rest by passing seas; therefore it is diminished by raising the weights, and must by no means be confounded with heeling.

ROLLING-CHOCK, OR JAW-PIECE. Similar to that of a gaff, fastened to the middle of an upper yard, to steady it.

ROLLING-CLEAT.    Synonymous with rolling-chock.

ROLLING DOWN TO ST. HELENA. Running with a flowing sheet by the trade-wind.

ROLLING-HITCH. Pass the end of a rope round a spar or rope; take it round a second time, riding the standing part; then cany it across, and up through the bight.

ROLLING-SWELL. That heaving of the sea where the waves are very distant, forming deep troughs between.

ROLLING-TACKLES. Used to prevent the yards from swaying to and fro under heavy rolling motion.

ROLL UP A SAIL, To.    To hand it quickly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Snuffy
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 09:08 AM

Hi Gibb,

The Carpenter Collection contains a bewildering array of handwritten and typewritten lyrics and other (biographical etc) information, music notation and recordings, and the information given by the online index is insufficient to establish whether items are contemporaneous or from different dates.

I recall reading somewhere that Carpenter would normally only record a verse or two, but would write down or type up a fuller text. This seems to be borne out by this message from the late Malcolm Douglas about William Fender's version of Fire Down Below, where another 9 solo lines/verses are added to the three in the recording. A similar thing could have happened with South Australia, but until we can view the texts, all we can do is conjecture on the extent of their inter-relatedness.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 10:21 AM

FWIW - nothing - Scott's "South Australia" doesn't appear in Carpenter's 1928 dissertation in any form.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Snuffy
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 03:30 PM

Another bit of FWIW thread creep - Carpenter's biographical notes for Scott state:

First ship Nova Scotia brigantine, Maitland, Nova Scotia, 1863; last Clann Graham, Glasgow, 1903 (p.00395)

I reckon the odds are that Maitland is where the brigantine was built, not its name. But this might well be Scott's Clann Graham, Glasgow, 1903


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 04:12 PM

More data for the history of this song.

1894        Douglass, George P., ed. “Heave Away!” Yearbook (American Canoe Association). Newark, NJ: The Holbrook Printing Company.

This text of a song, evidently recently popular among outdoorsmen, was published on a dedicated page in this publicationof the American Canoe Association.

Pg78

“HEAVE AWAY!”

AS SUNG BY JAS. R. LAKE.

Australia, my lads, is a very fine place,
   Heave away! heave away!
And to go to South Australia, lads, is surely no disgrace,
   We 're bound for Australia.
Cho. -- Heave away! my bully boys,
    Heave away! heave away!
Heave away, and don't make a noise, 
   
   We 're bound for Australia.

In rain and hail and frost and snow,
   Heave away! heave away!
It's up aloft poor Jack must go,
   We're bound for Australia.
Cho."Heave away, my bully boys, etc.

Oh, my dear mother she wrote to me,
    Heave away! heave away! 

Oh, my dear Jack, come home from sea,
   We 're bound for Australia.
Cho."Heave away, my bully boys, etc.

And if ever I once set foot on shore,
    Heave away! heave away!
I 'll never go to sea anymore,
    We 're bound for Australia.
Cho."Heave away! my bully boys, etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 04:44 PM

The following gives some context as to why "South Australia" ended up in the 1894 Yearbook of the American Canoe Association.

1892        Unknown. “Canoeing.” _Forest and Stream_ 39 (1 Sept., 1892). Pg. 188.

Citing the introduction of [SOUTH AUSTRALIA] at a meet of the American Canoeing Association in 1892. James R Lake introduced this “shanty song,” which thenceforth became popular in outdooring circles, it seems. The passage also notes that a Dr. Nekle (? The spelling is unclear to me) introduced the “shanty” “Rolling Down from [sic] Old Mohee” in 1885!

//
One of the pleasant features of the meet has been the abundance of music, not strictly classical, perhaps, but none the less appropriate. The three cornets made lively music, not only at "colors'' and "taps" and for marching, but at the camp fire…

The A. C. A. meets have been remarkable for tbe odd and attractive songs which have come in from year to year, same being undeservedly forgotten. In 1884 there were the two French Canadian songs, "Alouette" and "Boule Roulant," both very taking airs; also tbe old catch, "Hop Along, Sister Mary." A year later Dr. Nekle [sp?] brought to camp a shanty song of more than usual merit, "Rolling Down from Old Mohee," which has since been forgotten, though deserving of preservation. A favorite song in 1886 was "Ring, ring the Banjo," sung by Mr. Andrews, of the Rochester C. C. In 1888 Mr. Lundberg, of the Mohicans, came to Lake George and captured the camp with bis magnificent voice and the charming song "Necken." The Jessup's Neck meet of 1889 will long be remembered for its famous "Coon Band" of three darkies with their "Watermelon Growing on the Vine," still a universal favorite in camp, as well as for the popular "Cock Robin."

The present meet has brought out more music than usual. Mr. Howard Gray, of the Vespers, has helped out every camp fire with some good comic songs; Mr. Moffatt, of the Yonkcrs C. C, has sung a number of ballads, though his taste for comic songs has for some reason declined since 1890, and the "Wall of Toe" was not heard once, though often demanded; Mr. J. R. Lake, of the New York C. C. brought to camp a rousing shanty song, "Bound for Australia," which bas been sung, hummed and whistled everywhere, lending good aid in all the camp work…
//

http://books.google.com/books?id=T0IhAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA188&dq=bound+australia+song&h


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 05:02 PM

1892        Unknown. “The A.C.A. Meet of 1892.” Forest and Stream 39(10) (8 Sept., 1892). Pg. 212.

Some more details of the 1892 ACA meeting at which “South Australia” was popularized.

The meeting was at Willsborough Point, Lake Champlain. The following passage gives details of one time during the meeting when they sang the song.

//
One of the most lively and animated scenes of the meet was the striking tents, packing duffle and loading all on the flat scow which was dubbed "Gloriana," when used for the same purpose last year…The "Gloriana" was poled from place to place along the beach, at each stop a motley crowd of smugglers, half in camp costume and half in "store clothes," marched down from the deserted tent-site, carrying canoes, trunks, bags, chests, sails and all sorts of odd packages, more or less contraband in appearance. The handbarrows, built by tbe camp carpenter, were most convenient in carrying boxes and bundles. The loading was done by the canoeists, all hands turning to, the boats and heavy stuff going aboard to the good old shanty,

"Heave away, my bully boys, 
   
   Heave away, heave away. 

Heave away, and don't make a noise" 
   
   We're bound for Australia."
//

This version from JR Lake is notable for its "make a noise" in the chorus (only seen once so far, above), though "don't make a noise" sounds odd in a sailor song. Perhaps they mean "don't complain." In the place where "ruling/rolling king" would go, there is "bully boys"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: meself
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 05:51 PM

One wonders in passing why music "strictly classical" would be understood to be particularly appropriate to a 'canoeing' association - doesn't one?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Aug 11 - 06:36 PM

A reminder that "Maui" was discussed at length a few years back here:

thread.cfm?threadid=33324#1701782

I've found nothing new since then. Not that I haven't been looking.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 02:32 AM

Some more data on the song.

Evidently this song, under the title of "Heave Away," was popular as a "glee club" sort of item with college groups. These perhaps resemble what we know as "Cape Cod Girls" a bit more, but I question to what extent "Cape Cod Girls" and "South Australia" were two distinct songs (i.e. which may appear more distinct to us nowadays under the influence of certain presenters/writers).

We've already seen one of these, above, with the 1916 Harvard Clubs songbook. Here are others.

_The Harvard Song Book_ of the Harvard Glee Club (1913, 1922) has the same version (text), but this time there is a musical score to show how it was sung!

http://books.google.com/books?id=hXUWAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA91&dq=%22heave%22+australia+s

The solo parts are of a disjointed sort, more like "Cape Cod Girls" at it is known today, but the chorus melody is more like the familiar "South Australia," I think. The main melody is in the upper bass part.

This arrangement, it says, was by Frank R Hancock, class of 1912. The copyright is 1913, Lloyd Adams Noble (the compiler of the book).

Ohio State University borrowed the arrangement in their 1916 collection.

cont...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 25 Aug 11 - 02:50 AM

I was mistaken in what I said in the last post. All these glee club versions are titled "Australia."

There are other glee club arrangements that predate the Harvard one.

Amherst College's song book of 1916 has,

//
Australia

Australian booze is very fine booze,
Heave away, heave away.
It fills you tighter than a new pair of shoes
Heave away, heave away.

Heave away my jolly boys,
Heave away, heave away,
Heave away, and don't you make a noise,
For I'm bound for ["Where?" - shouted] Australia.
//

This is followed by a parody verse about Smith College girls with "false curls," and Mt. Holyoke.

http://books.google.com/books?id=H7QQAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA76&dq=%22heave+away%22+austra

Brown University's book from 1908 had this:

//
Australia.

Australia, my lads, is a very fine place,
Heave away, heave away,
To be bound for Australia is surely no disgrace,
We're bound for Australia

Heave away, my Brownie boys,
Heave away, heave away,
Heave away, And don't you make a noise,
For we're bound for Australia.

The Cape Cod girls don't use any combs,
They comb their hair with a codfish bone,
//

http://books.google.com/books?id=VbUQAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA35&dq=%22heave%22+australia+s


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 05:28 AM

Just for interest's sake, here's a concert music arrangement of "South Australia" by Stephen Leek. Sounds like he utilized the "Rise Up Singing" style in the beginning, but then, notably, he tried his hand at matching L.A. Smith's text to her melody -- with some odd emphases.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCpIMChCTXQ

It's sounds like at one point they sing something like, "Wish I was on that strand/ with a glass of Foster's in my hand." Pretty silly. But I bet the kids like it...at least it helps them square it as a "fun beer-drinking aussy folk song"!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: AKS
Date: 03 Oct 11 - 04:13 AM

And " a slight drift but yet " here's how bark "Ahkera" (= 'diligent, hard-working'), mentioned in GS's post on 04 Apr 11, looked like. Someone might notice that she sails under the Russian tricolor; yes, Grand Duchy of Finland was part of Russia in the 19th century...

AKS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,chief flying owl
Date: 17 Oct 12 - 10:56 AM

I think Wincing Devil gives us the answer to his own original question. The original lyric seems to be "you ruler kings" which got shifted to "rolling kings." But "ruler king" would be a nickname for Old Nick, based on a typical poetic shortening of Ephesians 2:2 -- "ruler of the kingdom of the air." Haul away you ruler kings! -- as sailors would affectionately call each other.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: akenaton
Date: 18 Oct 12 - 07:40 AM

Rollin' king?......"king" of the sea.....seemples!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Mysha
Date: 22 Oct 12 - 02:20 PM

Hi,

I was at Liereliet in Workum this weekend, and Jim Mageean and Graeme Knights sung South Australia there. So I asked their interpretation.

They know about it possibly being "ruler king" instead, but as they have it, they interpret it as a "roller king". The "roller" being the long wave of the ocean, and the "king" being exceptionally high. They hadn't heard it expressed quite like that, but they had actually heard used "the king roller", as the indication of the well-known seventh wave, higher than the six before it.

Bye,
                                                                  Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,Dulci
Date: 07 Mar 15 - 05:41 PM

I agree with Amos and BillR that calling the the sailors who are being told to heave and haul "rolling kings" gives respect from the one giving the orders to those following the orders. After all they are all in the same boat with a long trip ahead. Might as well give dignity and respect to every job.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gurney
Date: 08 Mar 15 - 03:28 PM

Roller kings.
Rollers are what they call the lumpy bits in the sea.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 09 Mar 15 - 07:30 AM

You are ALL wrong !! It is,in fact, a tribute to the ship's cook and his skill at making pastry , and is a corruption of "He 've a way with rolling pin " ,which I would have thought was obvious.Well, SOMEBODY has to make the oggies for "Nine O,Clockers" !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: GUEST,J M Anderson
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 09:12 AM

Going back to the possibility of an Indian connection, what about T S Eliot's line:

"Oh you who turn the wheel and look to windward"?

(And while we're at it, what about Iain M Banks?)

The Waste Land is influenced by Hindu/Buddhist concepts (such cultures not known as being great seafarers), but this section (Death by Water) refers to one Phlebas the Phoenician, a sailor, and is in fact a rehash in English of the conclusion to one of Eliot's earlier poems, originally in French (as if there wasn't enough confusion here already).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 10:45 AM

Give it up, guys.

If "rolling king" had any established meaning, there'd be real evidence for it - examples of usage in the billions and billions of words available in books and newspapers online.

But there's nothing.

If anyone has found such an example outside of this shanty - and preferable before the 1950s - please, please post.

Versions from old sailors and in early collections have "my bully, bully boys," not "you rolling kings."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Gurney
Date: 18 Mar 15 - 04:04 PM

But Lighter, is that then about tinned beef of offensive behaviour?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: What the hell's a 'Rolling King'?
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Mar 15 - 11:13 AM

Robert W. Gordon collected a brief version in California ca1923 that has "Heave away-ay, we'll roll and go!" Gordon says elsewhere that all of his seafaring informants had been to sea in the '60s and '70s.

So either "rolling/ ruling/ ruler king" were misinterpretations of "roll and go" (which seems unlikely to me), or else "rolling/ ruling/ ruler king" was as meaningless to at least some chanteymen as it to us, and they replaced it with a reasonable facsimile.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 29 April 1:27 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright 1998 by the Mudcat Caf Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.