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Author Topic: New York Gals  (Read 3773 times)

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Nick Collis Bird

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Re: New York Gals
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2014, 09:43:49 PM »

I ran across this old thread while searching for something else.

I study chanties and their history, so I can shed some light on this.

Yes, "New York Gals" is a chanty. I don't know of this song as such ever being noted (historically, Age of Sail) as anything but. However, the style of it is that of a popular song; it is without the really particular "chanty" qualities. For this reason, it cannot work for any hauling actions. That also means it's likely that the chanty was based in a popular song.

The vast majority of documented versions have "Santy" (or some variation in spelling).

I have found a minstrel song, called "Cynthia Sue," that has a very similar tune and similar scansion as "New York Gals," also with certain words or rhymes in the right places. In the corresponding place to "Santy" is "Cynthia."

I think "Santy" is a degeneration of "Cynthia" (or Cynthy or Cindy).

Incidentally, the tune works very well on accordion because it has the pattern of (descending) Ti-La-Fa-Re which is characteristic of the draw notes!

 You should email my friend Tom Lewis. He's very much into this type of research ,a brilliant shanty singer and findable on Google " Self Propelled Music"

Tell him I sent you. ;D
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