Long Time Ago, A

DESCRIPTION: Shanty. Characteristic line: "[To me] way, hey, hey, yah... A long time ago." Texts vary; many have to do with the troubles of seagoing life; one complains about serving an a boat so old it "must have been the ark that Noah built..."
AUTHOR: unknown
KEYWORDS: shanty sailor ship
FOUND IN: US(MA,MW,NE) West Indies(Bahamas,Tobago,Nevis) New Zealand
REFERENCES (18 citations):
Doerflinger-SongsOfTheSailorAndLumberman, pp. 37-43, "A Long Time Ago" (6 texts, 4 tunes)
Walton/Grimm-Windjammers-SongsOfTheGreatLakesSailors, pp. 68-69, "A Long Time Ago" (1 text, 1 tune)
Colcord-SongsOfAmericanSailormen, pp. 65-68, "A Long Time Ago" (1 text plus several fragments, 1 tune)
Harlow-ChantyingAboardAmericanShips, pp. 60-62, "A Long Time Ago" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Hugill-ShantiesFromTheSevenSeas, pp.97-105, 156, 215, "A Long Time Ago," "Up, Up, My Boys, Up a Hill" (11 texts, 4 tunes. Version "C" is "In Frisco Bay", version "F" is "A-Rovin'", version "G" is "A Hundred Years Ago." Other versions borrow heavily from "Roll the Cotton Down," Blow the Man Down" and "Blackball Line") [AbEd, pp. 88-94]
Sharp-EnglishFolkChanteys, XLIV, p. 49, "A Long Time Ago" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kinsey-SongsOfTheSea, pp. 82-83, "A Long Time Ago" (1 text, 1 tune)
Linscott-FolkSongsOfOldNewEngland, pp. 141-142, "A Long Time Ago" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Eckstorm/Smyth-MinstrelsyOfMaine, p. 237, "A Long Time Ago" (1 fragment)
Shay-AmericanSeaSongsAndChanteys, p. 48, "A Long Time Ago" (1 text, 1 tune); p. 47, "Around Cape Horn" (1 short text to the same tune)
Elder-FolksongsFromTobago 39, "Long Time Ago" (1 text, 1 tune)
Abrahams-DeepTheWaterShallowTheShore, pp. 46-47, "Long Time Ago" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bailey/Roth-ShantiesByTheWay-NZ, p. 123, "A Long Time Ago" (1 text, 1 tune, edited; the version is partially localized to Auckland and New Zealand)
Garland-FacesInTheFirelight-NZ, p. 35, "(A Long Time Ago)" (1 short text, the Auckland version)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 28, "A Long Time Ago" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax/Lomax-AmericanBalladsAndFolkSongs, pp. 306-207, "Long Time Ago" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NewAmericanSongster, pp. 312-313, "A Hundred Years" (1 text, with the phrase "A hundred years ago" replacing "A long time ago")

ST Doe037 (Full)
Roud #318
Richard Maitland, "A Long Time Ago" (AFS, 1939; on LC27)
David Pryor et al: "Long Time Ago" (AAFS 505 B, 1935; on LomaxCD1822-2)

cf. "In Frisco Bay (A Long Time Ago; Noah's Ark Shanty)" (lyrics)
cf. "Roll the Cotton Down" (tune, floating lyrics)
cf. "De Hoffnung" (tune)
cf. "Roll and Go" (refrain)
De Hoffnung (File: Hugi104)
NOTES [32 words]: In 1833 one T. Rice sang a minstrel song by this name in "The Ethiopian Opera," with the sheet music published by John Cole of Baltimore; that may well have been the ancestor of this shanty. - PJS
Last updated in version 6.2
File: Doe037

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