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Sea songs

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The other day, Vardibidian mentioned putting together a playlist of sea shanties. Which reminded me that I put together a list of sea-or-sailing songs a while back for a friend who was a sailor; it wasn’t shanties per se, but I thought it would be fun to post it here anyway.

The links on these are to free-listening samples of purchasable songs. In the case of the traditional ones here, I’m mostly not especially wedded to this particular version, it was just what I had (or what was available to link to from iTunes). Note that if you have iTunes, you can hear much longer excerpts from these by clicking the ”View in iTunes” links from the Apple web pages.

I like all of these, some of them quite a lot, but since there are so many of them, I’m bolding the titles of my very favorites.

I thought about rearranging them in alphabetical or thematic order, but decided to leave them in the order I originally set up, plus a few items from my outtakes list added near the beginning and end.

Note that “by” here means “as performed by.”

  • Wave Over Wave,” by Great Big Sea, from Up. Heard some sailors on a tall ship sing this once, and despite the rather unfeminist lyrics of the verses, I love the chorus and the tune.
  • Shoals of Herring,” by the Clancy Brothers, from The Boys Won’t Leave the Girls Alone. Among other things, this song introduced me to the unusual word “cran,” the standard unit of measure for bunches of fresh-caught herring.
  • Barrett’s Privateers,” by Stan Rogers, from Between the Breaks… Live!
  • “Hail and Farewell,” by Cross Country, from Hail and Farewell
  • Sailor’s Prayer,” by Wild Mountain Thyme, from Of Moose & Men
  • Farewell to Carlingford,” by Tommy Makem, from The Tommy Makem Songbag
  • Song for Gale,” by Cindy Kallet, Ellen Epstein, and Michael Cicone, from Angels in Daring
  • Brown Gal,” by Echo’s Children, from A Dancing World
  • All For Me Grog,” by The Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem, from Irish Drinking Songs
  • A-Roving,” by The Revels, from Blow, Ye Winds, in the Morning
  • Blow, Ye Winds, in the Morning,” by The Revels, from Blow, Ye Winds, in the Morning
  • Cape Cod Girls,” by The Revels, from Blow, Ye Winds, in the Morning
  • Away Rio,” by The Revels, from Blow, Ye Winds, in the Morning
  • Mingulay,” by The Revels, from Blow, Ye Winds, in the Morning
  • South Australia,” by The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, from The Boys Won’t Leave the Girls Alone. There’s also a Pogues version, but this is the one I grew up with.
  • We Rigged Our Ship,” by Cindy Kallet, from Working on Wings to Fly
  • Roll ’er Down the Bay,” by Cindy Kallet, Ellen Epstein, and Michael Cicone, from Only Human
  • The Silver Run,” by John McCutcheon, from What It’s Like
  • Ready for the Storm,” by Cindy Kallet, Ellen Epstein, and Michael Cicone, from Angels in Daring
  • Frobisher Bay,” by by Cindy Kallet, Ellen Epstein, and Michael Cicone, from HeartWalk
  • The Mermaid,” by The Clancy Brothers, from Best of the Vanguard Years. My mother used to sing this to us when I was a kid.
  • The Flowers of Bermuda,” by Stan Rogers, from Between the Breaks… Live!
  • Sorrows of the Sailor,” by David Francey, from Torn Screen Door. Haunting little song, only forty seconds long.
  • The Mhairi Bhan,” by Cindy Kallet, Ellen Epstein, and Michael Cicone, from Only Human
  • Rolling Down to Old Maui,” by Stan Rogers, from Between the Breaks… Live!
  • Rolling Home,” from the Rise Up Singing teaching discs, Disc S: Good Times/Seas & Sailors (link is to a similar Tommy Makem version)
  • The Abby D,” by John McCutcheon, from Storied Ground
  • The Mary Ellen Carter,” by Stan Rogers, from Between the Breaks… Live!
  • Crossing the Water,” by Bill Staines, from Going to the West
  • Safe in the Harbor,” by Lee Murdock, from Safe in the Harbor. Written by Eric Bogle as a eulogy for Stan Rogers, but I like this version better than Bogle’s.

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