“Essequibo River”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1961 (Hugill)
Keywords: shanty worksong sailor river
Found in: West Indies

Description

Shanty. "Essequibo River is the king o' rivers all. Buddy tan-na wa we are somebody O! (2x) Ch: Somebody O, John, somebody O! Buddy tan-na wa we are somebody O!" Verses are similar: Essequibo captain/boson/maidens is/are the king/queen of all.

Notes

The Essequibo River is in Guyana, and is the largest river between the Orinoco and the Amazon. - SL

It is, in fact, the most significant geographic feature of Guyana. Not too far from the Atlantic coast, at the confluence of the Essequibo, Mazaruni, and Cuyuni rivers is the Bartica, one of the few significant towns in this poor, strongly rural nation. Webster's Geographic Dictionary says that it was the point of departure to the local gold and diamond fields, which I suspect explains why it has a shanty about it. - RBW

References

  1. Hugill, pp. 416-417, "Essequibo River" (1 text, 1 tune) [AbEd,pp. 317-318]
  2. BI, Hugi416