Saturday, January 17, 2009

New York Girls

This is what Steeleye Span did:

Below is what I do, based on words used by Stan Hugill. I think I recall that the Spinners recorded these lyrics:

As I walked down Broadway one evening in July,
I met a maid who asked my trade and, “Sailor John,” says I.

And away, you Santee, my dear Annie.
Oh, you New York Girls, can’t you dance the polka.

To Tiffany’s I took her, I did not mind expense.
I bought her two gold earrings and they cost me fifteen cents.
And away…

Says she, “You lime-juice sailor, now see me home you may,"
And when we reached her cottage door she this to me did say …
And away…

“My flash man he’s a Yankee, with his hair cut short behind.
He wears a pair of long sea-boots, and he sails on the Black Ball Line.”
And away…

“He’s homeward bound this evening and with me he will stay.
So get a move on, sailor-boy, get cracking on your way.”
And away…

So I kissed her hard and proper, afore her flash man came.
“And fare-ye-well you bowery girl, I know your little game.”
And away…

I wrapped my glad rags round me and to the docks did steer.
I’ll never court another girl, I’ll stick to rum and beer.
And away…

I joined a Yankee blood-boat, and sailed away next morn.
Don’t ever fool around with girls; you’re safer off Cape Horn.
And away…

You, Peter Sellers and ukelele players are invited to join in.


Klaus Traphobia said...

Come off it - we all know there isn't really a Santee.

Hugh Jampton said...

On the Steeleye recording, the ukelele was played by Peter Sellers, who was overawed by these professional musicians who could really play. They'd heard the record Unchained Melody by Sellers, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe on which Sellers played a bit of ukelele, and they assumed that he was pro standard. Sellers also put in some Goon Show voices: Major Bloodnok, Henry Crun, and Minnie Bannister (usually voiced by Spike Milligan).
There's not many people know that.

St. Anley said...

Now, look here, Klaus, 'Santee' and 'Annie' derive from the venerated Saint Anne, the mother of the Holy Virgin. These sailors were very religious people.

Thank you, Huge, for your commentary. I have put in a small edit at the end.

Hugh Jampton said...

And I always have assumed that Santee and Annie are corruptions of (Antonio López de) Santa Anna, the Mexican general of Alamo fame, also enshrined in a specifically Santa-Anna-shanty, 'All On The Plains of Mexico' aka 'Santy Anno'.
Given the obvious North American connection in 'New York Girls', I invite you to defend your derivation, or quit the field.

St. Anley said...

Assume at your convenience, Huge Cloud, I stand by Biblical precedent.