Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sea Chanties ...

... or The Secret to Faster Cycling

Oh, you can buy fantastic carbon and aluminum bikes these days and shoes that link you to the drive train as though it were an extension of your legs, but the important things are simpler and cheaper:
  • Good fit. The frame and the position of all the components must be just right.
  • Body position. You've got to get low. Aero bars are good, but so is a flat back.
  • Good pedaling form. Circles, not up and down.
  • Training. There's no substitute for miles.
  • Hydration. This time of year it's amazing how much water the body requires.
  • Cadence. You've GOT to keep the feet turning over at 90 to 100 rpm or in my case, 105-110 rpm, but it depends on the individual. Stomp a big gear, the force will be higher, and the less efficient fast twitch fiber are recruited, and your legs will burn out prematurely. Lactic acid instead of efficient metabolism to CO2 and water. And NOW for the sailing connection....

Sea chanties, evolved over the years to synchronize efforts and to help boring work pass more quickly, help me maintain a nice 105-110 rpm cadence and help the miles melt away. Though hauling halyards and anchors on a cruising yacht doesn't require the team of bullies found on a clipper, there are dull tasks and they help there too: scrubbing the bottom or the deck, long boarding if you fancy such obsession, or just passing the time while you do something brainless. We learn some of these as nursery rhymes, though never all the verses and certainly not the randy parts (some chanties are so vulgar as to bore anyone beyond 7th grade). The words vary a lot; change them as you like. The tunes change a lot too. These are a few of my favorites:

_______________________________

Cape Cod Girls
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUf56i5EfBk&feature=related

Cape Cod girls ain't got no combs
heave away, haul away
They comb their hair with codfish bones
for we're bound away for Australia

CHORUS
Heave away my bully, bully boys
heave away, haul away
Heave her up and don't you make a noise
for we're bound away for Australia

Cape Cod boys ain't got no sleds
heave away, haul away
They slide down hills on codfish heads
for we're bound away for Australia

CHORUS

Cape Cod docs ain't got no pills
heave away, haul away
They feed their patients on codfish gills
for we're bound away for Australia

CHORUS

Cape Cod cats ain't got no tails
heave away, haul away
They all blew off in the northeast gales
for we're bound away for Australia

CHORUS

Cape Cod women don't bake no pies
heave away, haul away
They feed their babies on codfish eyes
for we're bound away for Australia

CHORUS

Cape Cod women don't got no thrills
heave away, haul away
They're plain and skinny as codfish gills
for we're bound away for Australia

CHORUS


____________________________

Drunken Sailor
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGyPuey-1Jw

What will we do with a drunken sailor,
What' will we do with a drunken sailor,
What will we do with a drunken sailor,
Earl-aye in the morning?

Chorus:

Weigh hey, and up she rises,
Weigh hey, and up she rises,
Weigh hey, and up she rises,
Earl-aye in the morning

Ending Chorus:

That's what we do with a drunken Sailor,
That's what we do with a drunken Sailor,
That's what we do with a drunken Sailor,
Earl-aye in the morning

Traditional verses (3 repetitions)

1. Shave his belly (balls, back) with a rusty razor
2. Put him in the long boat till he's sober
3. Put him in the scuppers with a hose-pipe on him
4. Put him into bed with the captain's daughter
5. Beat him with a cat 'til his back is bleedin'
6. Put him in the bilge and make him drink it
7. Truss him up with a runnin' bowline
8. Give 'im a dose of salt and water
9. Stick on 'is back a mustard plaster
10. Send him up the crow's nest till he falls down
11. Tie him to the taffrail when she's yardarm under
12. Soak 'im in oil 'til he sprouts a flipper
13. Put him in the guard room 'til he's sober
1a. Keep him there and make 'im bale 'er
2a. Pull out the plug and wet him all over
4a. Give 'im a taste of the bosun's rope-end
6a. Heave 'im by the leg with a runnin' bowline

_____________________________

Spanish Ladies (only 90 rpm)

Farewell and adieu to you fine Spanish ladies,
Farwell and adieu all you ladies of Spain;
For we've received orders to sail for old England;
And perhaps we shall never more see you again.

Chorus:

We'll rant and we'll roar like true British sailors,
We'll range and we'll roam over all the salt seas,
Until we strike soundings in the Channel of old England,
From Ushant to Scilly 'tis thirty-five leagues.

Then we hove our ship to, with the wind at sou'-west boys,
Then we hove our ship to, for deep soundings to take;
Twas 45 fathoms and or' a white sandy bottom;
We squared up the main yard and up Channel did make.

Chorus

So the first land we saw was the Dodman,
Next Ram Head off Plymouth, Start, Portland and Wight;
We sailed by Beachy, by Fairly and Dungeness,
And then bore away for the South Foreland light.

Chorus

Now the signal was made for the Grand Fleet to anchor,
All on the Downs that night for to meet;
Stand by your stoppers, see clear your shank-painters,
Haul all your clew garnets, let tacks and sheets fly.

Chorus

Now let every man drink up his full bumper,
Let every man drink up his full cup;
For we drink to be jolly and drown melancholy,
Let's drink to the health of each true hearted lass.

Chorus

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