[quote="Ridgerunner, post:14, topic:250409"]
As awful a person as she is in other ways, Judy Collins did have at least a sometime ability to sing "manly" songs and make it work. I think she also recorded "Bonny Ship the Diamond". (????) Regardless, it sometimes seems almost cutely artificial, sort of like Shirley Temple as the "Littlest Rebel" or the cutesy knockoff military uniforms sometimes worn by the Andrews Sisters and other girl groups in WWII.
Which reminds me of the Civil War. "Riding a Raid" ('Tis old Stonewall the rebel, who leans on his sword, and while we are mounting, praise lo to the Lord"), "Ol' Abner" ("I can whup the Yankee that stole ol' Abner's shoes"), "Goober Peas" ("Sittin' by the roadside on a summer's day, chattin' with my mess-mates, passin' time away...").
Hard to picture a woman doing them at all. Indeed, for that matter "Bonnie Blue Flag", though many a woman surely sang it. "We are a band of brothers...." doesn't quite work for a woman. Even the "original" "Wartime Dixie" ..."Men of South the thunders mutter, northern flags in south winds flutter, true to arms, true to arms, etc. Fear no danger, shun no labor, lift up rightful pike and saber".....and so on. Still, undoubtedly it was sung by many a woman.
"Roddy McCorley", of course. One could imagine it sung effectively by a woman, but one would think it difficult because it would suggest a romantic interest in Roddy McCorley.
And, of course, some of the "tough guy" songs like "Big Boy Pete". A woman could do it without committing egregious gender reference errors, but it would not seem to fit well except perhaps for a Woman of the Evening.
Yes, Collins did record "Bonnie Ship the Diamond." At the time she recorded many of these Irish songs, her voice was not yet that of a soprano, but rather a deeper mezzo, so they don't sound so "cute." I love so many Irish songs, whether they happen to be "manly" or not. And the sailor songs you mention are also perfect for this category. Have you ever heard the late American baritone, Leonard Warren, sing some of them on recording? Just extraordinary.