Monday, 21 January 2013

Sea Shanties ahoy!

Pirates ahoy in the most land-locked of English counties!
Tapping into the myths of The Magnificent AK47, the venerable Auntie BBC is broadcasting a series of programs about Sea Shanties starting this coming Tuesday evening at 22:00 on Radio 2.

The program is presented by Richard Hawley and according to the the BBC website "explores the rich and fascinating tradition of the shanty, a very specific type of folk song that's connected with - but not necessarily about - the sea.

A work song, the shanty has a purpose and a rhythmic structure designed to help mariners carry out their work more easily and divert them from the sheer slog of hauling on ropes to raise sails, pushing capstans round to lift anchors, and manning pumps to empty the bilges.

The heyday of the shanty was around 1840 to 1880, when the Seven Seas were filled with the great full-rigged ships, the barques, the clippers, the windjammers, plying their trade to all points of the compass. It was a century of expanding imperialism, when the Royal Navy did rule the waves and its power and prestige enforced a peace often referred to as Pax Britannica."  Should be fascinating stuff, even for us land-locked scurvy lake-lovers!

A few more links that might be of interest to you include an interesting video of every Mum's favourite TV Choir Master, Gareth Malone, on a program about the book "Songs of the Sea" and the marvellous Port Isaac's Fishermens Friends performing in Cheltenham very soon.

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