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Sea Shanties: “South Australia” and “Drunken Sailor”

Sea Chanties are great. Rob Ossian’s Pirate Cove has a wealth of good information. Wikipedia defines them well:

A shanty (also spelled “chantey,” “chanty”) is a type of work song that was once commonly sung to accompany labor on board large merchant sailing vessels. The term shanty most accurately refers to a specific style of work song belonging to this historical repertoire, however in recent, popular usage, the scope of its definition is sometimes expanded to admit a wider range of repertoire and characteristics, or to refer to a “maritime work song” in general. (Continue Reading…)

Here is a long list of sea shanties. Above is “South Australia” by Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends and below is a nice rendition of “Drunken Sailor,” the best known shanty, by one of the millions of unknown but very talented folks who post videos at YouTube.

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Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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