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We'll either bend or break 'er

Danny Spooner

we

Sandstock Music SSM 027, 1988; DS003, 2002

1. Outward Bound
2. All Bound to Go
3. The Blackball Line
4. Hilo Johnny Brown
5. Blow Boys, blow
6. Johnny Bowker
7. Shallow Brown
8. Paddy Doyle's Boots
9. Bring 'em down
10. Hieland Laddie
11. Homeward bound
12. Doodle let me go
13. Blood red Roses
14. Haul in the Bowline
15. Reuben Ranzo / Whiskey Johnny
16. Haul away for Rosie
17. Liverpool Judies
18. Leave her Johnny

All lyrics for this album

There's nothing like a good shanty session even if at times the settings and harmonies are a bit incongruous: eyes close, heads go back, throats open and soon, in response to stirring tunes and words, imaginations begin to conjure mighty seas, bucko mates, flash gals and exotic places. But there is a world of difference between a good session, and the sea life which produced the shanty genre.

Sea shanties, unlike sea songs or forebitters, were created specifically to aid and co-ordinate hard shipboard work and were seldom, if ever, sung by real seamen when off duty. They were basic, meaty and reflect the attitudes and values of a tough all-male society. Contrary to the beliefs of many choir masters, shanties were not choral pieces and the only 'arrangement' was that dictated by the job in hand. If harmony was used, it would have been because it suited someone's voice to sing there.

On this album we have tried to recreate a working atmosphere so the shanties are rough, loud and free of any deliberate arrangement. The record has a two-fold purpose, firstly to be a small tribute to the men who created this unique branch of our folksong heritage, and secondly, to respond to a lot of good fun and many requests over the years. Of course I hope you enjoy the recording, but more importantly, I hope you learn, sing and keep alive these and other shanties.

Cheers, Danny Spooner


Garry Gillard | New: 10 May, 2008 | Now: 9 August, 2016