Why aren’t all sea songs properly called shanties?

This essay explains a useful point: ‘Forebitters were not work songs. They were songs of the sea that were sung for entertainment purposes only. Crew members would sing forebitters during the dog-watches: the times of the day when they were involved in solo deck duty, such as emergency lookouts. … such songs were called ‘fore-bitters’, because … Continue reading “Why aren’t all sea songs properly called shanties?”

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The Song of the Waterlily, set to music

Martin Newell’s increasingly acclaimed quartet poem The Song of the Waterlily – the building of a boat has been set to music and recorded by Martin and local band The Hosepipe Band, together with another poem Black Shuck, telling the story of an ancient ‘black dog’ legend. The Song of the Waterlily describes the building and … Continue reading “The Song of the Waterlily, set to music”

The Running Tide, an album of songs for singing sailors

It’s taken quite a while – but here’s my 16-track online album of largely traditional songs, The Running Tide. I think it’s an album of magnificent songs for singing sailors, and I hope as many of you as possible enjoy them through listening and perhaps learning some of them for yourselves! No really – a good singer is one … Continue reading “The Running Tide, an album of songs for singing sailors”