Sea Shanties

The past days’ accounts of Confederate exiles sailing to safe harbours put me in a sailing mood, so here’s an unusual blog post for today.

I stumbled across this CD a few years ago while on a quest for Civil War music, and it’s one of my favourite period performances. The band describes themselves as,

An actual string band of the Civil War Era singing a wide variety of traditional American songs in authentic, “living history” style.

“Living” is the key word, there – these guys sound like they’ve been issued double grog rations and the promise of some weekend shore leave in a bordello-lousy port. While Bobby Horton’s catalogue of songs is impressive, his singing leaves a lot to be desired. Such is not the case here. The shanties are rollicking and well-performed.

I didn’t recognise any of the titles except for Shenandoah and Drunken Sailor, but the Navy songs never got the kind of publicity that the Army’s marching songs did, so that’s understandable. The Mermaid is now a personal favourite, and I dare anyone to refrain from singing along to Jolly Grog.

The best part about writing this post is that I’ve just noticed the band has a whole series of other Civil War CDs. If I ever figure out how to make money off this site, I know how I’m blowing my first paycheque.

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