Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Shanty Songs.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Shanty Songs.
Songs sung by sailors at work, to ensure united action. They are in sets, each of which has a different cadence adapted to the work in hand. Thus, in sheeting topsails, weighing anchor, etc., one of the most popular of the shanty songs runs thus:—   1
“I’m bound away, this very day,
I’m bound for the Rio Grandè.
Ho, you, Rio!
Then fare you well, my bonny blue bell,
I’m bound for the Rio Grandé.”
   (French, chanter, to sing; a sing-song.)   2



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