American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A song sung by sailors to the rhythm of their movements while working.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A sailors′ song.
- n. Specifically, a song sung by sailors when at work together, as in hauling or heaving, etc., the better to secure a united pull at the proper moment, which is indicated by the ictus or beat of the music. See chantey-man.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A sailor's song.
- n. a rhythmical work song originally sung by sailors
- Probably from French chantez, imperative pl. of chanter, to sing, from Old French; see chant. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“And whether by happy chance or on some signal dropped down from him or because the chantey was a new one and the crew were glad to show it off, it was chosen.”
“She was not looking at the music before her, but up at nothing, while her hands ran over the keyboard, playing an old sailor's "chantey" which Lowell has taught us.”
“chantey" is given, copied from an old scrapbook, and while it can hardly be recommended as a delectable piece of literature, in any sense, it is interesting, aside from its Stevensonian connection, as a bit of rough, unstudied sailor's jingle, the very authorship of which is long since forgotten.”
“It was only a little boy, singing in a shrill treble the sea chantey which seamen sing the wide world over when they man the capstan bars and break the anchors out for "Frisco" port.”
“Young Jerry only was to be seen, sitting on the cabin step and singing the ancient chantey.”
“For Old Jerry had been a sailor, and had followed the sea till middle life, haunted always by the words of the ringing chantey.”
“With folk song - and sea chantey-inflected songs by Steve Goers, a book and lyrics by Alyn Cardarelli and lively direction by Paul Bosco McEneaney, the production is one part cozy adventure and three parts kooky shiver-me-timbers atmospherics.”
“No, the march, the work song, the love lyric, the ballad, the sea chantey, the nursery rhyme, the limerick—those are the preeminent forms, and all those have four beats to them.”
“But then when I searched for individual songs I remembered, I sailed into another kind of semantic fog: there are lots and lots of sea chantey sites and recordings that masked the instance I was looking for.”
“Sister Holler is full of twisted takes on tradition: a sea chantey, a blues, a couple of ballads, some gospel, New Orleans flavored ragtime, and even a touch of singer/songwriter pop.”
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