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Though I could be way off base. And the phrase 'Liverpool Judies have got us in tow' was due to a piece of nautical folklore which held that the 'trade winds' were 'the whores of Liverpool pulling them home'. Subject: RE: Origins: Liverpool Judies From: The Walrus Date: 24 Aug 03 - PM 'Judies' are, I believe, just girls in the Liverpool dialect , with no implications that they are 'ladies of negotiable affection', however, in the context of most of the songs in which they appear, I believe one could assume professional or at least 'shamature' status.
I've heard my father saying 'what a fine looking judy' when he meant a woman but not of 'ill repute'. I like it. There is a mention in The Crack was 90" "the Liverpool judies it was said, had all gone down to the Douglas Head". Having said that, I haven't heard the term used recently in Liverpool although I think it would still be acceptable in the right context.
Women were used to haul ships ashore or from dock to dock before tugs were motorised, using a long line. They are the "Judies" referred to in the song. A similar reference exists in "The Mingulay Boat Song". Hope this helps. Which ones? These ones: And now we've arrived in the Bramleymoor Dock, And all them flash judies on the pierhead do flock.
Anyway, my point is that we are dealing with folksongs Phil Cooper was not "way off base"! Regards, Bob Bolton. In other shanties they are referred to as 'towrope girls,' and Stan Hugill believed that was because of their attractiveness pulling the ship into port.
Can't remember if that came up in conversation or is in one of his books. Stan was always a gentleman and very proper in his attitudes toward the fairer sex.