A Conversation for Sea Shanties
Steve K. Started conversation Oct 14, 2005
I recall some movie having a couple of musicians arguing about the lyrics to "Louie, Louie", which of course were quite controversial at one time. One says, "It's a sea shanty!" It doesn't seem to fit any of the categories above, but maybe the Caribbean had different styles.
In the 50's, one of the Kingsmen (the band with the infamous version) said "It really helps sales when the FBI investigates your song". (Even if they declare it "unintelligible at any speed".)
echomikeromeo Posted Oct 14, 2005
I'm guessing that, due to Caribbean dialect, its styles probably differ from the sort of standard British mercantile thing that is famous for 'Drunken Sailor' and 'Blow the Man Down'.
Steve K. Posted Oct 15, 2005
Maybe so, Reggae and hard work don't seem particularly ... synonymous.
BTW, nice entry, I never considered that there would be different shanties for halyard, capstan, etc. Maybe that's why I never win sailing races ...
echomikeromeo Posted Oct 15, 2005
I'm glad you liked it.
I only ever sing shanties in context once a year, at the Sea Shanty Festival at the maritime museum near where I live. Bands come and play all day, and then they get everyone who's there to help raise the sails - to the accompaniment of music, of course. It's loads of fun.
Steve K. Posted Oct 16, 2005
Sounds great. We have a maritime museum in Galveston (which BTW still exists - the city, that is - contrary to the Galveston's mayor's prediction just before Hurricane Rita). The tall ship Elissa (a GREAT photo spot) is docked there, more at:
I don't recall many musical events at the museum, but I'm not on the crew of Elissa. Galveston does have a Mardi Gras celebration every year, as will New Orleans (which does not completely exist anymore), next year I've heard. They've got their priorities straight. There are a LOT of musical events in Galveston, and farther up in Galveston Bay, e.g. a steel drum festival in Kemah, about 25 miles north. So we're more on the Reggae side of shanties ...
echomikeromeo Posted Oct 16, 2005
Wow, how cool! Out in California we don't have a huge folk music base, and what we have is mostly country and bluegrass. But what my maritime museum does have (other than the shanty festival) is the ship that was used in the film of Patrick O'Brian's novel Master and Commander. I'm very proud of that one.
Steve K. Posted Oct 17, 2005
That does sound like an attraction. I have the double DVD of "Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World", one of my favorites. It would probably have won Best Picture, except for the last "Lord of the Rings" movie. One of the extras on the DVD's is about the ships used - a full size replica in a tank on gimbels, a smaller (but still large scale) model, computer models, and the one at your museum, I think. Originally built as a replica for some other purpose, and named the "Rose", the production company bought it and renamed it the "Surprise" for the movie. Is that the one at the museum? If so, do they call it "Rose" or "Surprise"? I'm guessing the latter ...
echomikeromeo Posted Oct 17, 2005
They call her "Surprise". She's not the main historical ship, since we've got a very large tall ship that fills that function. So they have lots of info about how the movie was made and some mock-ups of a couple of the sets from the movie.
I missed the two-disc edition somehow. I've got the Canadian edition, so it comes with a French audio track instead. Oh joy.
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