Fayette Brown, The
DESCRIPTION: When sailors go on strike, the owner of the lake schooner Fayette Brown hires a crew of non-union Blacks; their failings are described. The singer drinks a health to owners and captains, but "bad luck attend any dirty scut that sails the Fayette Brown"
EARLIEST DATE: before 1952 (Walton collection)
LONG DESCRIPTION: When sailors go on strike, the owner of the lake schooner Fayette Brown hires a crew of non-union Blacks; their failings are described, and it's said they'd wish themselves elsewhere when the snowflakes began flying. The singer drinks a health to ship-owners and captains, and "every lofty schooner that carries a union crew", but "bad luck attend any dirty scut that sails the Fayette Brown"
KEYWORDS: curse strike labor-movement ship work sailor scab worker Black(s)
1868 - Fayette Brown built at Cleveland
late 1870s - Sailors strike for union recognition
1891 - Fayette Brown sinks after collision
FOUND IN: Canada(Ont) US(MA,MW)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Walton/Grimm/Murdock, pp. 112-114, "The Fayette Brown" (1 composite text)
Stanley Baby, "The 'Fayette Brown'" [fragment] (GreatLakes1)
NOTES [81 words]: According to Walton/Grimm/Murdock, the Chicago Seamen's Benevolent Union was formed in 1878 and the lockout which inspired this song took place in 1879. The notes in Walton/Grimm/Murdock call it "one of the nastiest songs to survive the schooner era."
It seems to have been very well-known, though: the Walton/Grimm/Murdock text includes material from eight informants, and Stanley Baby makes nine people who knew the song. This makes it one of the best-know of all Great Lakes songs. - RBW
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