The story (and song) of the first radio rescue at sea, 23rd January 1909

‘Jack Binns, Jack Binns, the bravest of all the crew, Jack Binns, Jack Binns, The world loves and honours you!’ The first rescue at sea that depended on radio was a big one involving a collision between two liners, and it inspired a music hall song. They don’t write them quite like that any more… … Continue reading “The story (and song) of the first radio rescue at sea, 23rd January 1909”

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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?”

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”