YWW 14: Reuben Ranzo

Hi Worksongers! Your weekly worksong is... Rueben Ranzo Here's one I learned aboard the schooners in Penobscot Bay, Maine, sometime between 1995 and 2000. Over those years I worked as a deckhand aboard several vessels and picked up lots of songs from my shipmates. There is a long tradition of sea songs and shanties to help bring up the anchor and raise the sails, and the repertoire of simple, fun songs is quite large.

I encountered it again during my Watson Fellowship being sung by a 50-member German sea shanty choir. It had been out of my repertoire until recently, when I came across it in a list of sea shanties by someone named John Ward.


Here is the song on worksong.org, including a rendition with curious anime accompaniment and a group from the 80s called Hedgehog Pie. The J&E Riggin, where I learned most of my sea songs The International Shanty and Sea Song Association has sailing sea shanty festivals in Europe! Good luck, have fun and let me know if you try it out! Bennett