Sailors Choice 

Sea Shanties
& Ocean Songs

During the age of the great sailing ships, propulsion was supplied by the wind, but the means to harness these winds were men, the common sailor.  Sails were huge, heavy canvas sheets, lowered and raised as necessary, and sometimes that was fairly often.  Life aboard was hard.  There were very few, if any, comforts and singing was both a means of entertainment and a way to coordinate the efforts of a "team" of sailors tugging on a heavy line to raise the sails, turn the huge pumps and load and unload vessels. There has been some debate as to the spelling and the origin of the word "Shanty" or "Chanty".  Some say Shanty is from the mean hovels sailors lived in while ashore and some say Chanty derives from the French word to sing, chantez. Whatever the origin of the word, the results are a bit of our history that should not be lost, or gone with the wind.

Sea Shanty - A song sung by tall ship sailors with a cadence creating a rhythm and cohesiveness to the pulling of lines, etc.
International Shanty and Sea Song Association:  an international site listing members, history and bit of information
Blow the Man Down, the words and a bit of history
Eileen strummin"Eileen Quinn - Music for Sailors and normal people.........Early on in her sailing adventures, Eileen discovered that there wasn't a lot of music describing the life she was experiencing. The traditional sea shanties don't do it. She began writing songs about the really important, but neglected aspects of cruising: how anchoring leads to marital breakdown; why weather forecasters shouldn't be trusted; what it is about comfortable harbors that seems to scuttle any plans to leave. ..we're slow even by corrected time although we're often near the front of the buffet line, takes us a while to sail very far but we strike like lightning at an open bar, gotta, gotta, gotta regatta...She's got two great albums and yes, she is still sailing and living the life of a sailor. And the Anchoring Dance! Click for a taste of the tunes... 

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