“Cheer'ly Man”


Shanty. "Oh, Nancy Dawson, hio! Cheer'ly, man! She's got a notion, hio! Cheer'ly, man! For our old bosun, hio! Cheer'ly, man, Oh! hauley, hio! Cheer'ly, man!" Various women are mentioned, perhaps linked to members of the crew, who are urged to pull hard


Shay believes that this is mentioned in Dana's _Two Years Before the Mast_. The section quoted makes it appear likely, but Dana did not actually quote text, merely the singing of "Cheerily, men," which might just possibly be ship's idiom. Still, it is likely that the song is much older than the known texts.

Lloyd and others lump this with "Haul 'Er Away (Little Sally Racket)." There is certainly similarity in the form, and in some of the lyrics, and in the idea, but the choruses are different enough that I tentatively split them. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Shay-SeaSongs, pp. 32-34, "Cheer'ly, Man" (2 texts)
  2. Colcord, p. 77, "Cheerly, Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Hugill, pp. 312-315, "Cheerily Man," (2 texts, 2 tunes) [AbEd, pp. 234-237\
  4. Sharp-EFC, XLV, p.50, "Cheerly Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Roud #395
  7. BI, ShayS032


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1927 (Whall)
Keywords: shanty nonballad
Found in: US