Sea Shanty Challenge

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  • @tiller2  Jan 12

    What could be more opposite to today's anxious world than a sea shanty! Sea shanties seem to have broken out on Tiktok and Youtube, notably versions of Wellerman, maybe others.

    Join me in adding some new songs to the genre. Straightforward work songs, or ironical or satirical takes are all fair game. When you post your song tag it #seashantychallenge

    And please post links to some outstanding shanties to give us inspiration and examples of form. Hey ho, off we go!

  • @jeustan  Jan 12

    This reminds me of the shanty cover of The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald I made last October. Enjoy -

  • @yam655  Jan 12

    Here's a possibly useful reference:

  • @yam655  Jan 12

    Hmm... I know what my youngest wants. He really wants a sea shanty about a gay pirate "stealing property" by freeing slaves.

    Both of my kids would definitely enjoy some sea shanties about nameless terrors causing sailors to give up the life of fishing...

    I wonder if I can make it happen this year.

  • @guatecoop  Jan 12

    I think I’m in on this one....I do have two accordions, but I think I’m going to spare everyone (and my poor dog who howls when I play them) with my lack of experience with those. However, I do have a melodica that I’ve never used and a Farfisa pianorgan that can do all of the accordion sounds without doing the bellows. This sounds like a plan.

  • @elainedimasi  Jan 13

    I heard the most amazing "Have a Jolly Roger Christmas - Arrrrhh!" performance as part of a holiday benefit for a music venue. Wish it were on youtube so I could share, but I don't think he circulated his cut beyond the one-shot charity performance.

    I had a sea shanty phase! I was in a folk band playing a medieval wedding, and we were accosted by pirate re-enactors.

    Maybe I should rephrase that. It was more like the pirate guy was trying to pick up the band, not that the pirates were taking over the wedding! In the end, we joined the pirate troupe for a summer and accompanied their swordfights and stuff with various celtic tunes.

    I'll have to check and see if the shanty book they gave me, made the move from NY to CA!

  • @candle  Jan 13

    A great FAWMer (whom I miss dearly - hoping he might show this year), @captainvulpine is a master of Sea Shanties. Here are my favs of his:

    A Hard Tack Life

    Bow To The Boatswain

    The last one is perhaps one of my favourite Vulpine songs.

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @coolparadiso  Jan 13

    Yup i will do one for sure!

  • @sjbatavia  Jan 13

    Sounds like an interesting challenge that would push my lyrical skills quite a bit. I’m in!

  • @scubed  Jan 13

    Sounds like fun! I’m in.

  • @aesthetic72  Jan 15

    Newfoundland is made of three things: rock, salt, and song. Too many sea shanties to mention. Here's an iconic local one. A classic shanty has a chorus that is a call to coordinated work, sung in a rhythm that helps time hauling or hoisting things on ships and land. Here it's the bit that begins "Lay hold William..."

  • @donna  Jan 16

    I may give it a go at some point as well. 😀

  • @markg  Jan 17

    I'll be sure to try a sea shanty, just as soon as I complete my klezmer album--NOT! But you guys knock yourselves out.

  • @katpiercemusic  Jan 17

    I’ve written several nautical and River related murder ballads and ghost songs which I’m hoping to put on my next cd. Probably the only time in my life when I will be musically on trend.

  • @robynmackenzie  Jan 17

    I wrote a sea shanty for an assignment in college once and it was received with mixed reviews. Maybe it's time to give it another shot.

  • @radioovermoscow Jan 17

    My Sea Shanty Challenge will be to go through all of February without hearing a Sea Shanty (sorry, someone has to be the grump!)

  • @lazykat Jan 18

    I typically write a sea shanty every count me in 😀

  • @sbs2018  Jan 18

    Funny - I just read about these in The NY Times and was wondering if this would be a thing for this year’s FAWM. Must check this out once everybody is awake - lol!

  • @krayzie003  Jan 18

    Yo ho ho! I'll bring the rum. Let's all be pirates!

  • @regis  Jan 22

    As a fan of trying new genres and a recovering accordionist, I fully expect to give this a try. Shouldn’t be too hard to draw upon my experiences as a lifelong Wyomingite to conjur up tales of the sea...

  • @tseaver  Jan 22

    @radioovermoscow Good luck: I'll bet somebody sneaks one by you. 😀

  • @elainedimasi  Jan 23

    @radioovermoscow @tseaver New made up genre #AntiShanty, per the specs here:

  • @leka Jan 23

    I’ll try!

  • @tootoobee  Jan 29

    Just found a video of Adam Neely analyzing sea shanties

  • @davidbreslin101  Jan 30

    I'm well up for this. [fluffs up beard, rolls up sleeves of big wooly jumper] I've only ever written one shanty. This needs fixing.

    "The Bonny Ship the Diamond" is a standard at the Black Swan Folk Club in York. This version's very good, but I still prefer it with forty people roaring along in a vague approximation of harmony.....

  • @ineloquentsd  Jan 31

    I’m absolutely going to try my hand at a shanty for this. One of my metamours is super into the birate trend, & I want to pay her tribute with something catchy & queer.

  • @karlsburg25  Jan 31

    @tiller2 oooo i am so on for this. My uncle Nigel is in a sea shanty band called |"stamp and go" down in Cornwall and i bloody love them. he writes his own shanties as well and literally two days ago i was listening and thought. Ooooo i'll give writing one of them a go. May need some lyrics mind 😉

  • @hakk  Jan 31

    This sounds like fun! I might give it a try!

  • @berni1954  Jan 31

    Here's my "Christmas Shanty" from 2012
    I'd love to have done this with the old shanty group I was invovled with in the 1980s - which included shanty giants Jim Mageean and Johnny Collins (and various members of the Wilson Family among others).

    I'll certainly try and add a Shanty here over FAWM

  • @the3queens  Feb 1

    I'm in. I watched a great sea shanty/murder movie this summer. I'll have to look it up.

  • @katpiercemusic  Feb 1

    Here's a silly one in the style of a Sea Shanty. Kind of combining current trends, I guess.

  • @tawalker Feb 1

    I actually wrote a kind-of sea-shanty a couple of weeks ago, which I haven't demoed yet, but I'll probably record it for the first album of my new "alt-folk" project (which I'm using this FAWM to generate material for).

    The twist of the song is, it's not clear whether the narrator is serving aboard a sea-ship on Earth, or a spaceship, but it could be either, and it's down to the listener to decide... as is whether the protagonist survived, or is telling his story from "beyond"!

  • @dudachris Feb 1

    @tawalker that sounds great! FILK content for sure 😁

    I'm going to have to get in on this challenge!

  • @porrectus  Feb 4

    Here is one that is in the style of a shanty. Kind of want to write a real one with nautical terms and more whiskey but I'll save it for later. Here it is.

  • @complexissimple Feb 5

    I wrote some shanty lyrics, if anyone would like to take a crack at them musically

  • @chipwithrow  Feb 5

    I think this one qualifies:

  • @declan  Feb 5

    Not exactly a sea shanty in the end. But I started out to write one...

  • @yam655  Feb 5

    I just found a shantybot in the Fediverse. Anyone interested in sea shanties written using Markov chains, should check out: @ shantybot

    There doesn't seem to be a way to make the URL friendly to the forum. There shouldn't be any spaces, so it is /@ then "shantybot".

  • @mariekevinkmusic  Feb 6

    So....if I wrote a shanty verse and chorus, would some people be interested in joining in to record harmonies and submit a verse? So we'd complete the lyrics first and then send a recording around to add harmonies one by one?

  • @complexissimple Feb 6

    @mariekevinkmusic That sounds cool. Send a recording around how?

  • @jeffokay Feb 6

    Earlier this week: wrote a sea shanty about clamming:
    Yesterday: went clamming.

  • @tiller2  Feb 6

    Awesome that you are all taking this on. I will go through everything in the next couple of days. And I'm working on a shanty on ... building democracy.

  • @eric Feb 6

    Stan Rogers' Barrett's Privateers is an absolute must-listen for any Sea Shanty writers:

  • @adamhill  Feb 7

    If anybody else, like me (or @mariekevinkmusic ) needs some help with their shanty, I've started a spreadsheet for those looking to give or receive help. More details in this thread:

  • @trolls2 Feb 7

    if you ever need a lead female vocal I'm in, not because i want to shine but because I'm hopeless at harmonies. i have clear on pitch mezzo.

  • @circle Feb 7

    somehow I was inspired to do this when I saw the thread and have now written some sea shanty lyrics, something I never imagined doing

    yet to see if I'll record them but still, FAWM eh

  • @kenmattsson  Feb 7

    As someone who's been in the folk tradition for decades, I just want to be the curmudgeon about authenticity. What most people out there think are sea shanties aren't actual shanties. They might be sea songs, and more likely foc'sle songs, which were songs sung for entertainment by the men on the ship (foc'sle is short for forcastle, which is the front part of the ship where seamen would gather for drink and relaxation). Sea shanties are work songs with very particular beats to help with the timing of the work, like pulling line to raise a sail. They are usually call and response.

    The Wellerman, which most people know now, is not an actual sea shanty.

  • @gem Feb 7

    I hadn’t seen this challenge but did a lyric sea shanty...

  • @berni1954  Feb 9

    As promised here is my shanty. It was inspired by tales of shipwrecks among seal hunting sailors in the southern oceans.

  • @scubed  Feb 10

    I loved this challenge! I discovered the story of a remarkable young woman:

  • @berni1954  Feb 11

    As Ken has noted, a lot of what most people understand are shanties are rather "Sea Songs". As my response to the "Do Re Mi" challenge I came up with a song that I reckon would have made a great "Forecastle Shanty" or "Sea Song" sung up front when the sailors were not on duty.

    Hope you have time to give it a listen:

  • @complexissimple Feb 11

    I mentioned this song in this thread before, but now it has a demo! @gardeningangel1 did a fun performance of my nonsense lyrics.

  • @leka Feb 13

    not an actual seashanty, but something like that

  • @bethdesombre  Feb 13

    I'm so sorry that I wrote this song:

  • @ductapeguy  Feb 13

    Here's my sea shanty. Does it count if it is an inland sea? ... if it is frozen?

  • @j8e2t56 Feb 14

    Here's my sea shanty. Does it count if it's not near water at all?

  • @siebass  Feb 16

    This challenge was much, much more difficult than I imagined after the write. The lyrics came easy, the music came with challenge, and new celtic flute and accordion patches. Plus you get to say rum-diddy-rum.

  • @lyricslinger  Feb 17

    I had a go at writing lyrics for a sea shanty. It's called May The Wind Blow For Us, and is a tale of a ship being pursued by pirates.

    Great fun to write!

  • @katpiercemusic  Feb 17

    Here's mine. It's called Bell Buoy. Eventually I want to get a whole buttload of people singing harmony on it and maybe get my friend whose a kick ass bodhran player to do the percussion.

  • @karlsburg25  Feb 18

    YES i have managed to do one. True story All about a fishing angling club located in the Middle of England!! in my home village 😉

  • @specious Feb 19

    Here is my contribution to the genre. It has no lyrics and is somewhat silly, but enjoy anyway.

  • @specious Feb 19

    Yarrr ye cannot edit posts on mobile. The correct link:

  • @adamhill  Feb 19

    Here's my contribution to the challenge - thanks to @elesimo, @nancyrost, and @complexissimple for helping out with vocals 😀

  • @cphaurckker  Feb 20

    I tackled this one a couple of days back, chronicling the ice storm from the mid-Atlantic US last weekend:

  • @scotttestmusic  Feb 20

    My contribution, complete with tongue twisters. (Shall we sing a sea shanty?)

  • @candle  Feb 22

    Did a mashup of a christmas carol & a classic sea shanty - with a Candlesque twist. Hope you enjoy:

    The Prophet's Birthday:

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @rustyp Feb 23

    Here's my first attempt ever at a sea shanty.

  • @krayzie003  Feb 23

    I finally got around to this challenge. I've had the lyrics since the beginning of the month but just found the time to record the demo.

  • @andreasb Feb 23

    I did one for my first FAWM song.

  • @regis  Feb 24

    As a lifelong Wyomingite, I had to find the right right angle of approach for a sea shanty. Let 'er buck!

  • @rustyp Feb 25

    So, I made good on my Jonah shanty

    Who knows, maybe I'll write a few more and make it an EP or something. 😀

  • @jeffokay Feb 26

    Second shanty of the FAWM!

    This one is a drinking song about crew of sailors on a weekend bender in Provincetown. Definitely about sailors. Nothing else besides sailors.

  • @dudachris Feb 28

    I'm fairly pleased with my entry 😁

  • @ductapeguy  Feb 28

    This one is not a sea shanty-- it's a work song, but the forms are closely related in folk tradition...

  • @lyricslinger  8 weeks

    Thanks to Tim Fatchen for turning my 'May The Wind Blow With Us' sea shanty lyrics into a really fun song. Feel like I've ticked off one of my FAWM objectives for the year by getting my first collab here. 😀

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