Reuben Ranzo

DESCRIPTION: Shanty. Characteristic line: "Ranzo, boys, Ranzo." Typically concerns the life of Reuben Ranzo, a landlubber who "was no sailor" but wound up aboard ship and had to learn fast -- or, perhaps, had enough schooling to turn to navigation
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1882
KEYWORDS: shanty sailor
FOUND IN: US(MA,MW,NE,SE) Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (19 citations):
Doerflinger, pp. 23-25, "Reuben Ranzo" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Peters, p. 104, "Reuben Ranzo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Morris, #23, "Ranzo's Son" (1short text, 1 tune)
Walton/Grimm/Murdoch, pp. 63-64, "Reuben Ranzo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bone, pp. 54-56, "Ranzo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Colcord, p. 70, "Reuben Ranzo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Harlow, pp. 89-91, "Reuben Ranzo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hugill, pp. 240-244 "Reuben Ranzo" (2 texts & fragments, 1 tune - second text is in Swedish & English) [AbEd, pp. 175-178]
Sharp-EFC, XXXII, p. 37, "Poor Old Reuben Ranzo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Linscott, pp. 144-146, "Reuben Renzo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Shay-SeaSongs, pp. 50-53, "Reuben Ranzo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mackenzie 101, "Reuben Ranzo" (1 text)
Terry-Shanty1, #22, "Reuben Ranzo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Finger, pp. 143-144, "Reuben Ranzo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-NEFolklr, pp. 560-561, "Reuben Renzo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 313-314, "Reuben Ranzo" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 83, "Reuben Ranzo" (1 text)
DT, RBNRANZO
ADDITIONAL: Captain John Robinson, "Songs of the Chantey Man," a series published July-August 1917 in the periodical _The Bellman_ (Minneapolis, MN, 1906-1919). A fragment of "Reuben Ranso" is in Part 2, 7/21/1917.

Roud #3282
RECORDINGS:
Noble B. Brown, "Reuben Ranzo" (AFS, 1946; on LC26)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Brindisi Di Marinai' (tune)
SAME TUNE:
Brindisi Di Marinai (File: Hugi245)
NOTES: Linscott speculates that "Renzo" is a corruption of "Lorenzo," which is at least reasonable -- but then comments that "It is probable too that Lorenzo may be a mythical hero." For this supposition there is not a shred of evidence that I can find.
Hugill mentions the "Lorenzo" possibility, but notes that "Reuben" doesn't fit well in that case. He lists three other theories: That it refers to the Danish sailor Daniel Rantzau, that it was an Eastern European Jew with a name like Reuben Ronzoff, or that Reuben derives from the description "Rube" for an inexperienced hand. Evidemce is, of course, lacking.
The ending also varies; Terry mentions Ranzo marrying the Captain's daughter, or being thrown overboard (and having additional adventures undersea), and him being flogged as a thief.
Bone, who has the virtue of actually getting this from sailors, was "inclined to think that [Ranzo] was in the word alone," noting that the word somehow seems to suit the action of hauling. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.0
File: Doe023

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