Category Archives: Songs

Snug Harbor Shanties, A Short Documentary — Singing the History that Can’t be Found in Textbooks

My novel, The Shantyman, begins with a fictionalized Bill Doerflinger recording the tale told by a retired ship’s captain of a shantyman who saved his ship and its crew. The old captain lives close to the sailor’s retirement home, Sailor’s Snug … Continue reading

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Captain John Newton & Amazing Grace — The Story Behind the Myth

A new musical is coming to Broadway this summer, which features a ship’s captain and stage sets with lots of ship’s rigging. It is based on the story of Captain John Newton and the song Amazing Grace.  The musical is described: … Continue reading

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Before Caitlyn Jenner, Louisa Jo Killen, Folk Song and Shanty Singer

Not quite two years so, we posted about the death of the British folk and shanty singer who as born as Louis Killen.  The post title was “Lou Killen, British Folk Song and Shanty Singer, Dies at 79.”  Now after the … Continue reading

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The Hardtackers, New Video

The Hardtackers Shanty Crew put out a fine new promotional video just a week or two before the publication of my new novel, The Shantyman.  The events are unrelated but feel fortuitous. See our review of the Hardtacker’s CD, Don’t … Continue reading

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Christmas Night by C. Fox Smith, Adapted for Singing by Charlie Ipcar

We hope that everyone is having a most merry Christmas. Here is a poem by C. Fox Smith adapted for song by Charlie Ipcar. As we posted last June, Cecily Fox Smith was a Victorian poet best remembered for her poems about … Continue reading

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“On Board a Man o’ War” – Nelson’s Victory & Death at the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805

On Trafalgar Day, the anniversary of Admiral Horatio Nelson‘s victory and death at the Battle of Trafalgar, a ballad describing the battle, “On board a Man o’ War,” sung by Ian Page. Feel free to grab a mug of porter, … Continue reading

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Sting’s The Last Ship — A Musical of Love and Loss in a Tyneside Shipyard

Just over a year ago, I was surprised — shocked might be a better word — to hear of a play about a shipyard. The Boat Factory was set in Harland & Wolff of Belfast, the shipyardyard that built theTitanic as well as roughly 1,700 … Continue reading

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Hughie Jones in Concert at the Noble Maritime Collection at Snug Harbor

If you are in the area on Friday, May 9th, at 8PM, be sure to stop by the Noble Maritime Collection at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center at 1000 Richmond Terrace in Staten Island where the legendary British folk singer Hughie … Continue reading

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Sting – Christmas At Sea (Live from Durham Cathedral)

We hope everyone is having a joyous holiday season.  Here is a beautiful version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem “Christmas at Sea.” Sting – Christmas At Sea (Live from Durham Cathedral)

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Assassins Creed IV : Black Flag – Slaughter, Mayhem & Shanty Singing Pirates ?

My younger son, a senior in high school, mentioned to me a few mornings ago that the newest version of the historical action-adventure video game, Assassins Creed, which is Assassins Creed IV – Black Flag, has a feature that lets … Continue reading

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Louisa Jo Killen, British Folk Song and Shanty Singer, Dies at 79

I was saddened to learn that the singer that I knew as Lou Killen died early this month after a six year battle with cancer.  Killen was an influential voice in the British folk song revival of the 50s and … Continue reading

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Hardtackers’ Don’t Forget Your Old Shipmates – A Review

The Hardtacker Shanty Crew, a seven-man shanty crew based in Columbus, Ohio, released a great new CD a few months ago, Don’t Forget Your Old Shipmates, which features a wonderful mix of shanties and sea songs, old and new.  The twenty one songs … Continue reading

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Trevor Grills of the Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends, Dies at 54

Trevor Grill was a self employed builder from Port Isaac on Cornwall’s rugged north coast, who enjoyed getting together with friends to sing sea shanties and folk songs.  The group came to call themselves the Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends and they performed at … Continue reading

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Sea Songs in New York – Sailing to Staten Island: The Immigrant Experience, and Other Events

This will be a great couple of weeks around New York harbor for lovers of the music of the sea.  “Sailing to Staten Island: The Immigrant Experience” is a free concert Saturday night at the Noble Maritime Collection at Snug … Continue reading

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For the Love of Sea Music – Mystic Seaport’s 33rd Annual Sea Music Festival

Mystic Seaport has put together a wonderful short video where lovers of sea music speak of just it means to them, just in time for the Seaport’s upcoming 33rd Annual Sea Music Festival from June 7-10, 2012 in Mystic, Connecticut.  The three … Continue reading

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Shanty Sings All Over – Mystic, New York, San Francisco, Port Townsend & Washington DC

This Saturday night, January7th, the Mystic Seaport will be hosting a “Chantey Blast and Pub Sing” from 1-5 PM in the Frohsinn Hall (aka the German Club), 54 Greenmanville Avenue, in Mystic CT as a fundraiser for the 33rd Annual Mystic Seaport Sea … Continue reading

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The William Main Doerflinger Memorial Sea Shanty Session – September 18th, 2011

Fifteen years ago, a group of sea shanty enthusiasts got together for an old fashioned shanty sing. Their first meeting was, fittingly enough on the windjammer Peking at South Street Seaport. For many years they met monthly at the Seaman’s Church … Continue reading

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Ranzo, the YouTube Chanteyman

On his YouTube channel, Hulton Clint identifies himself as “Ranzo, the YouTube Chanteyman.”  Something over  three years ago he began an ambitious You Tube undertaking : The “Shanties From the Seven Seas” project where he sings the chanteys from Stan Hugill’s classic book of … Continue reading

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Sea Chantey Festival on the Star of India

What could possibly be a better venue for a sea chantey festival than the deck of a restored 1863-built iron windjammer?   The Maritime Museum of San Diego is holding its “Sea Shanty Festival 2011” on the deck of the … Continue reading

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Jubilee Sailing Trust – Tall Ship Sailing Adventures for All

A very nicely done video showing the inspiring work being done the Jubilee Sailing Trust.  The Jubilee Sailing Trust  is a registered charity that owns and operates the tallships Lord Nelson and Tenacious, the only two tall ships in the world designed and … Continue reading

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