Shanties and Sea Songs
"...I soon got used to this singing, for the sailors never touched a rope
without it. Sometimes, when no one happened to strike up, and the pulling,
whatever it might be, did not seem to be getting forward very well, the
mate would always say, 'Come men, can't any of you sing? Sing now and
raise the dead.' And then some one of them would begin, and if every
man's arms were as much relieved as mine by the song, and he could pull
as much better as I did, with such a cheering accompaniment, I am
sure the song was well worth the breath expended on it.
It is a great thing in a sailor to know how to sing well,
for he gets a great name by it from the officers, and a good deal of
popularity among his shipmates. Some sea captains, before shipping a man,
always ask him whether he can sing out at a rope."
-Herman Melville, Redburn, chapter 9 (1849)
Halyard and Long-Drag Shanties
Capstan, Windlass, and Pumping Shanties
Forecastle Songs and Ballads
Modern Sea Songs
- Bone, David. 1931. Capstan Bars. Edinburgh: The Porpoise Press
(1931); New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company (1932)
- Colcord, Joanna C. 1938. Songs of American Sailormen.
New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
- Doerflinger, William Main. 1972. Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman.
New York: The Macmillan Company
- Grasso, Glenn and Bernier, Marc. 1998. Songs of the Sailor.
Mystic Seaport Museum.
- Hugill, Stan. 1969. Shanties from the Seven Seas.
London: Routledge & Kegan Paul; New York: E.P. Dutton.
- Lomax, John A. and Alan. 1934. American Ballads & Folk Songs.
New York: The Macmillan Company.
- Shay, Frank. 1926. Iron Men & Wooden Ships.
New York: Doubleday, Page & Company
- Smith, Laura Alexandrine. 1888. The Music of the Waters.
London: Kegan Paul, Trench & Co.
Other Sailing Links
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