Tune of the Day: The Rio Grande
Sung mainly when heaving up anchor, “The Rio Grande” was one of the most popular sea shanties. It has been suggested that it refers to the famous river on the border between Texas and Mexico. It seems clear, however, that it was first sung in the Brazil trade and was inspired by the port and province of Rio Grande do Sul. Usually known succinctly as “Rio Grande”, the southern Brazilian province and its chief port, of the same name, carried on a busy trade with the United States and Britain.