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The Plains of Mexico (Santiana) (B) [84] (77-78)

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Published on Jan 16, 2009

For additional and more current info on this and other chanties, please visit my blog:
http://shantiesfromthesevenseas.blogs...
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For the popular capstan chantey "Santiana" (Santianna, Santianno, Santy Ana etc.) Hugill gives 3 melodies and 3 sets of lyrics. Two of the melodic variants, (A) and (C), are very similar and, in my opinion, one has to combine them to get a melody like Hugill sung himself usually. The second tune, the present (B), is a bit less common. It has a more modal quality, and at times one hears different pitch centers.

As for the texts, the main variants deal with either "The unhistorical story of Santiana", "The Spanish Senoritas," or, as a "livening up pattern," verses of a "Stormalong" style with "...build me a ship of a thousand ton." But Hugill says, "Although I give two versions of the words, in actual fact both were used, or some of both, in any singingof this shanty." A mixture of these tunes and lyrical themes make up Hugill's own style of performance of this chantey.

I had done the same, when months ago I recorded my personal version of "Santiana." I did not then have the foresight to know that I'd want to be more thorough in recording the different variants, so I mixed them, using tunes A + C with lyrics given under B mostly --the whalers' praise of Mexico and its beauties -- along with opening lines of Santa Ana's story (for recognition purposes) and closing lines of Stormalong.:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvBu8s...
Now, to complete the bases, here is the other main melody, along with more extended words on the Santa Ana battle theme. *Remember, the battle of Monterrey and its details and of the deeds of Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón (February 21, 1794 June 21, 1876), during the Mexican-American War (1846-8) are all mixed up here! His supposed victory sounds almost from the perspective of the foreigners-based Saint Patrick's Battalion (Irish and other foreign nationals who became citizens of Mexico as they were hired to fight on that side). Rather, it is a glorified account that sounds like contemporary wishful thinking! Of course, Santa Anna becomes, in the sailor's mind, a heroic figure on par with the legendary "Stormalong," so he is subjected to various rite like burial "off Cape Horn," "close by the place where he was born"!

See the whole "Shanties from the Seven Seas" project, here:
http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list...

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