“Sing Outs”


Likely the predecessor to the full shanty (which has discernable words and a division of solo & chorus parts). These are short phrases or vocalizations, often made up of nonsense syllables, and used for hauling.


Several of the examples listed by Hugill had titles, though the title and what there was of the text were generally the same. Many were quoted from other sources, and I've listed them in the alternate titles field. - SL


  1. Harlow pp. 8-9, 20-21, 24, 29, "Handsome Charlie's Sing Out," "Hauling in the Slack of the Foresheet," "A Sing Out" (3 texts, 3 tunes & several fragments)
  2. Hugill pp. 573-579, "Sing-outs for Rope, Capstan, and Halyard Winch" (several fragments) [AbEd, pp. 398-401]
  3. Doerflinger pp. 91-92, (no title, quoted from Capt. James P. Barker)
  4. BI, Hugi573


Alternate titles: “Haul Out”; “Sweat-in' Up Chants”; “Short Cries”; “Royal Artillery Man”; “St. Helena Soldier”; “Hauley, Hauley-Ho!”; “Holystoning”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1951
Found in: Britain US Canada