Video

The Hauling Chantey "John Kanaka"

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

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Hello, my name is Peter Kasin, a park ranger at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, and this week's sheltered-in chantey is called John Kanaka. It's a hauling chantey is one often used with school groups at Hyde Street Pier. This word "Kanaka" is actually pronounced "KahNAHkah", but it's "kanaka" in the chantey. "Kanaka" is a "man" in the Hawaiian language, and although in some instances in history that term was used as a derogatory term toward Hawaiians, the sailors, though, who were on American whaling ships, had a lot of respect for Hawaiians who sometimes worked aboard those ships, and so Kanaka was not used as a derogatory or racist term. It was used as a term of great respect, and today, the term Kanaka is a term of real pride among Hawaiians. So, here we go with John Kanaka. Feel free to sing along on the chorus.

I thought I heard the First Mate say Chorus: John Kanaka-naka tu-lie-ae Today, today is a holiday Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae Tu-lie-ae, oh, tu-lie-ae Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae

I thought I heard the First Mate say Chorus: Jon Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae We're outward bound from Frisco Bay Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae Tu-lie-ae, oh, tu-lie-ae Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae

Frisco kids, they use no combs Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae They comb their hair with codfish bones Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae Tu-lie-ae, oh, tu-lie-ae Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae

Frisco kids, they use no sleds Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae They side down hills on codfish heads Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae Tu-lie-ae, oh, tu-lie-ae Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae

And Frisco kids they use no pills Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae Their doctors give them codfish gills Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae Tu-lie-ae, oh, tu-lie-ae Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae

Frisco kids, they eat no pies Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae Their parents bake them codfish eyes Chorus: Jon Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae Tu-lie-ae, oh, tu-lie-ae Chorus: John Kanaka-naka tu-lie-ae

It's one more pull and that'll do Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae And you're the crew to pull 'er through Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae Tu-lie-ae, oh, tu-lie-ae Chorus: John Kanaka-naka-tu-lie-ae

Now, the verses about Frisco kids are more newer verses. Great to do with kids, so learn the song, sing along with your kids or friends, and wishing everyone safety and health through this era of covid, and wishing you all fair winds and following seas until our next sheltered-in chantey.

Description

Ranger Kasin presents "John Kanaka," a hauling chantey that's always popular with school groups visiting Hyde Street Pier.