A Note to The Fans
Back in the days of the sail, the old-time sailors faced some insurmountable odds as they navigated the oceans of the world. They were beset by foul weather, foul conditions and worst of all, foul shipmates. Remember, deodorant and toothpaste hadn't been invented yet. Thank God for their rum!
It was a challenging life fraught with peril and heartache, and that was just in port — the trips were even worse! Here then, are some nautical songs of yesteryear, that may indeed answer the musical question, "what would we do with the drunken sailor?"
George Millar — January, 2012
The Drunken Sailor — This is our traditional ending song at our concerts, so what better song to start with? As Eugene Field once told his captain, "he is not drunk who from the floor can rise again and drink some more but he is drunk who prostrate lies and cannot drink and cannot rise."
Whores and Hounds — After 3 or 4 weeks at sea, a bit of recreation was required, and nature walks or church going, while noble and uplifting, were not necessarily part of it.
Cruising 'Round Yarmouth — If you're not sure what these nautical terms mean, try dial-a-sailor on your cell phone.
Good Luck to The Barleymow
"What better way to end the day when spirits are so frail
Than to sing along to a good song and have a pint of ale for ale
You see can set you free like a bird upon the wing
And the more you drink, the less you'll think of the trials tomorrow will bring."
Sweet Anne — Among all these boisterous sailor songs, here's a gentle little song of love. This one is G-rated.
All For Me Grog
"Those who linger over wine will soon have reason more to pine
For when they wake from fitful sleep what they have sown they now must reap
Bloodshot eyes and pounding head, too sick and sore to rise from bed
Money gone, without a friend the sailor's off to sea again."
Trust in Drink — The sailor's handbook published in Belfast by the Girnicle Press, circa 1822, says in chapter two: "when hurricane winds are blowing and seas are rolling with 50 foot waves, then the sailor should put his trust in the almighty. If the conditions worsen, then by all means put your trust in drink."
The Jolly Roving Tar — The old time sailors or "tars" as they were called, were a hardy bunch of men who routinely faced raging seas and howling winds. The work was hard, the hours were long and the pay was little. Yes, they worked hard and when they were ashore they played hard. A life on the ocean waves ...
The Good Ship Rover — A good captain and crew were essential for the long arduous journeys that the sailors undertook. As good as "the rover" was, I'm thinking it was very unlike the love boat.
Dear Ould Ireland — This is a rare breed of Irish sailor song. Our hero avoids the usual sailor pitfalls, and returns safe and pure to his true love back in Ireland. A fairy tale you say? Arrr!!!
Across The Western Sea
"We're back on the shore with money in store after
3 months away on the sea
So we'll drink of our fill, black porter and swill
With a wee lass or two on our knee."
Pleasant and Delightful — Young lovers parting and without skype to stay in touch. How on earth did they manage?
The Titanic — This year, 2012, marks the one hundredth anniversary of the great ship titanic. She was built at the Belfast shipyards, a monumental feat for the day. Irish pride was at its highest, and the sinking devastated the shipyards and its workers. To this day they say with a wry smile, "she was alright when she left here!"
The Dublin Pub Crawl — This is a prequel to the first song drunken sailor, and explains how they got in that condition. All will be revealed. Join in with the choruses. It's easy!