A-shantying I did go

Watch on Vimeowatch on YouTube

Here’s an example of the sort of shenanigans we get up to around here. Well, O.K., this is not perhaps a typical Central Pennsylvania party — but sea-shanty sing-along potlucks are happening twice a year now, thanks to the planning skills and infectious enthusiasm of Steven Sherrill, whom I interviewed for the Woodrat podcast a while back. (And speaking of the podcast, I hope to present a lengthier selection from our sing-along in audio form here at some point.) Songs included in the video, in all or in part: “Haul Away Joe,” “Hanging Johnny,” “Haul on the Bowline,” “South Australia,” and “Wondrous Love” (not a shanty, but it has the same tune as “Captain Kidd,” which we also sang). The somewhat disturbing paintings in the basement are all Steve’s work. The drink of choice was mulled cider spiked with rum.

6 Comments


    1. I hadn’t heard of that album, but thanks for the indirect reminder of the alternate, and to my eye, preferable spelling for the genre: “chantey.”

      Speaking of vocab, I guess you know that we Americans have betrayed our roots and now use “cider” to refer mainly to the non-alcoholic drink — unpasteurized apple juice. What you guys just call cider, we have to qualify as hard cider. And to make matters worse, most of the easily available commercial brands of hard cider are not authentically made. But mulled sweet cider fortified with rum does make a good drink.

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  1. The, er, francophone spelling of cider was, of course, deliberate. Hard or soft, mulled cider sounds delicious.

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    1. Oh, you’ve never had it? That’s a good recipe. If you’re feeling lazy, though, you can whip up a decent mug of mulled cider in a microwave with a few dashes each of powdered cinnamon, allspice and cloves stirred in.

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  2. Splendid. The excitment of being old-time sailors on rough ships and risky voyages is missing from modern life so these chanteys no doubt provide a bit of the experience.

    And I *love* the paintings!

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    1. Excitement and, I think it’s fair to say, extreme drudgery and long patches of boredom.

      I like Steve’s paintings, too! Unfortunately, I don’t think he’s made up his mind to part with any of them yet.

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