“Vi Styrte Utover Atlanten (We Set Out Over the Atlantic)”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1903 (Sternvall, _Sang under Segel_ )
Keywords: foreignlanguage shanty sailor
Found in: Sweden

Description

Swedish shanty. No story line, just sailing comments and complaints. i.e. "Callao was our port, so we go... Like a louse on a tarry fist." Chorus: "Hala hem! Hala hem! Hala hem a belagg! (Haul them home, haul them home, haul them home and belay)"

Notes

Note in Sternvall that this was sung aboard the _Richelieu_ of Stromstad in 1903. - SL

This is not unlikely, since the late nineteenth century was they heyday of the South American guano trade (for which see the notes to "Tommy's Gone to Hilo"). Ilo and Callao were the two chief ports of this trade. And, of course, carrying guano was one of the less pleasant jobs for a sailor, and did generate complaints. - RBW

References

  1. Hugill, p. 552, "Vi Styrte Utover Atlanten" (2 texts-Swedish & English, 1 tune)
  2. BI, Hugi552