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gcoover

Sea Songs And Shanties

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Ahoy all ye singers, sailors, pirates and gamers - announcing a new book of 130 sea songs and sea shanties - appropriately sized and titled The Pocket Shantyman - available online from all the various Amazon.com's.

 

It's not strictly a concertina book, but the lyrics and melodies are shown for all the songs and can be played by anyone who can read standard musical notation. A lot of the songs come from the singing of concertina players and singers like A.L. Lloyd, Louis Killen, Tony Rose, Cyril Tawney, Peter Bellamy, Bernard Wrigley, John Kirkpatrick and many others. Even includes a couple of songs from Sid and Henry Kipper!

 

Attached is the Table of Contents, plus an excerpt with "Heave Away Me Johnnies", "Lord Franklin" and "Sam's Gone Away".

 

Hope it includes some of your favorites too.

 

 

Gary

TOC-Pocket-Shantyman.pdf

Pocket-Shantyman-EXCERPT.pdf

Edited by gcoover

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Available now. Minor hiccup getting underway, everything now shipshape and ready to roll and go.

Edited by gcoover

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Yep - that works!

Just ordered mine and looking forward to the addition to my library.

Handy to have all these in one place in a book (despite the infinite possibilities of the internet). Looks like a good addition to previous works, scholarly and otherwise.

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Just wondering, would there be any interest in a Kindle version of the shanty book?

 

How about the Anglo books?

 

Gary

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copy ordered :) looking forward to seeing this - do i take from the excerpt that you have omitted your usual numbering system? Guess I will have to learn the proper notes then!

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Looks like a fine collection. Bravo. Curiosity impells: How did you decide to leave Shenandoah out? Granted it is really not a shanty, but neither are some of those included. This is NOT a criticism, I'm genuinely interested in your decision making. I've run into similar issues with collections I've done.

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How did you decide to leave Shenandoah out? Granted it is really not a shanty....

 

Actually, Shenandoah is a proper capstan shanty, though it's rarely sung that way, with the steady rhythm such use requires.

 

Meanwhile, in shipboard use, no shanty would be accompanied by concertina or any other instrument, since that would take hands away from the actual work.

 

Having said that, I admit that I do sometimes play (English ;)) concertina along with singing a shanty... IF the audience isn't singing along (more likely in Scandinavia than in the UK, US, or Poland). I.e., I may add a harmony line to imply an additional voice... but if the audience starts singing on the chorus lines, I'll drop out the concertina.

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Looks like a fine collection. Bravo. Curiosity impells: How did you decide to leave Shenandoah out? Granted it is really not a shanty, but neither are some of those included. This is NOT a criticism, I'm genuinely interested in your decision making. I've run into similar issues with collections I've done.

 

Excellent question, and one to which I don't know the answer! For whatever reason I just failed to think of it and include it. I blame the editor. And publisher. Oh wait, that's me. Sorry about that. I do know the reason why "Chicken on a Raft" and "Grey Funnel Line" were not included - the music publishing company that now owns the rights to Cyril's songs wanted way too much money for print permission and they also insisted on such a lengthy citation for each song that there would have been precious little room left for the music or the words in this small pocket-sized format.

 

I would have loved to include Eric Idle's "Accountancy Shanty", but figured chasing the copyright permission would have been way too difficult. I obviously should have spent more time thinking about the traditional public domain songs instead!

 

Gary

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Looks like a fine collection. Bravo. Curiosity impells: How did you decide to leave Shenandoah out? Granted it is really not a shanty, but neither are some of those included. This is NOT a criticism, I'm genuinely interested in your decision making. I've run into similar issues with collections I've done.

 

Excellent question, and one to which I don't know the answer! For whatever reason I just failed to think of it and include it. I blame the editor. And publisher. Oh wait, that's me. Sorry about that. I do know the reason why "Chicken on a Raft" and "Grey Funnel Line" were not included - the music publishing company that now owns the rights to Cyril's songs wanted way too much money for print permission and they also insisted on such a lengthy citation for each song that there would have been precious little room left for the music or the words in this small pocket-sized format.

 

I would have loved to include Eric Idle's "Accountancy Shanty", but figured chasing the copyright permission would have been way too difficult. I obviously should have spent more time thinking about the traditional public domain songs instead!

 

Gary

Sounds a lot like me. Some things missing from my collections for the same reasons...including copyright.

 

And yes Jim I've seen it called a capstan chanty, but I've also seen folks who claim it isn't.

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Regarding Shenandoah:

And yes Jim I've seen it called a capstan chanty, but I've also seen folks who claim it isn't.


I wonder who those folks are and on what they base their claim. Both Whall and Doerflinger identify it as a shanty, without being more specific. And although its format -- without a long chorus -- is more common for hauling shanties, both Colcord (who spent some time living on board sailing ships) and Hugill (himself a professional shantyman) identify it as a capstan shanty. Hugill even tells of how it would be used in raising anchor... i.e., not as one of the first shanties, but later on (as the ship drew nearer the anchor).

Edited by JimLucas

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How on earth does something as fundamental as a genuine sea shanty end up embroiled in the world of ' copyright' ?

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Just wondering, would there be any interest in a Kindle version of the shanty book?

 

How about the Anglo books?

 

Gary

Yes and yes.

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Pardon me for continuing the thread drift by discussing the shanty SHENANDOAH, ... but ...

 

In the book THE SEVEN SEAS SHANTY BOOK by JOHN SAMPSON (with forward by JOHN MASEFIELD), the shanty SHENANDOAH appears in the section CAPSTAN SHANTIES.

 

His notes accompanying the shanty state ...

"The origin of this beautiful Shanty has been often attributed to the American Negro. Personally I do not think that any of the facts warrant this assumption ... ... neither the words nor the tune are even remotely connected with the negro.

It was originally a song and was always a great favourite in the American Army. As a Shanty it is easily one of the first three, and the tune is of great beauty and lends itself easily to harmonious treatment."

 

In his preface the author states ...

"There are a few so called Shanties that I have omitted purposely, as I did not think them worth a place in this collection, but I cannot recall any deep sea Shanty in general use during my time which is not in this book, ...."

 

So, he regards this not only as a capstan shanty but as being in the TOP three of ALL shanties!

 

THE SEVEN SEAS SHANTY BOOK was "... the outcome of a desire on the part of the members of the Seven Seas Club (mainly composed of past and present officers of the Merchant Service) to have the singing of Sea Shanties as an integral part of the programme at their monthly Dinners.

As I (John Sampson) had taken a leading part in the Shanty revival which began in the early days of the club, I was commissioned by my fellow members of the Committee to prepare a standardised version of some of the more popular Shanties for the use of the Club ...."

 

He goes on to say ... "There are a number of Shanty books already on the market, but without wishing to be controversial, they are not considered adequate by the sailing ship members of the club. ... I had actually sung every Shanty and song in this book at sea in sailing ships; ... "

 

I think that he has to be considered a very reliable source.

 

The Seven Seas Club was founded about 1922 to promote and foster the comradeship of the sea.

My edition of the book is dated 1927 and in it he also refers to them broadcasting from the club which is quite amazing really as the BBC itself only made its first broadcast in June 1920.

 

Does this mean that "folk" revival began in 1922 and that these unknown mariners were the first "folk" singers to make a live broadcast??

 

[Ducks behind previously prepared sandbag defences!!]

 

regards

Jake

(Nothing concertina related in this so I can't start a new thread!!)

 

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(Nothing concertina related in this so I can't start a new thread!!)

 

That certainly hasn't stopped others. ;)

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How on earth does something as fundamental as a genuine sea shanty end up embroiled in the world of ' copyright' ?

 

US copyright law allows (or at least used to allow) the "collector" of traditional material to copyright it, as if they were the author... even when they name the person they collected it from, who might even be the true author. I'm not sure about other countries' laws.

 

But that's not relevant in the case of the songs mentioned by Gary. Both "Chicken on a Raft" and "Grey Funnel Line" (among many others) were composed by the late Cyril Tawney, who served in the British submarine service, long after the demise of deep water sailing ships. Many of his songs have achieved sufficient popularity that they are passed on without mention of the author and so become "traditional" in a popular sense, though not in a legal sense. And so they're not "genuine" sea shanties. (In fact, "Grey Funnel Line" doesn't even have the format of a shanty, but makes a fine forebitter.)

 

Meanwhile, Eric Idle's "Accountancy Shanty" was apparently written for The Crimson Permanent Assurance, the introduction to the Monty Python film The Meaning of Life.

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