Two of these songs came
to us by way of our good friend, musician and song writer Bob
Zentz. The first is another poem from the works of our favorite
writer of poetical nauticalia C. Fox Smith is The
Tryphina's Extra Hand. We heard Bob do a version
of this in Norfolk, Virginia. Bob has a more cheerful melody
that worked great on the concertina - I couldn't find a
way to do it on the guitar. Halloween was coming however, so
we set it in a minor key and turned it into a spookier sounding
piece. The other is The
Beaches of Lukannon. Bob wrote the tune for the poem
that opens The White Seal in Rudyard Kippling's classic, The
Jungle Book. The story tells of the seal who, by leading
them to a secret hidden beach, saves his kind from the seal hunters. "Guvaruska" is Russian for sea gull, or so we've
Ruchenitsa comes from our
pal John Peekstok of the group Telynor. He wrote it by
accident (an honored aspect of the folk tradition) while trying
to recall a Stanley Greenthall tune he had heard. When he checked
back to the original he discovered that he had "remembered"
a completely different melody. We took it, chopped it up and
rearranged it -- not quite beyond recognition.
From the docks of New Orleans
in the Hold, a cargo loading work song. It's been
in the repertoire of Seattle shanty singing crowd ever since
William's old singing partner Marc Bridgham introduced it
there years ago. A more traditional version can be found on the
Victory Sings at Sea recording, The Curse of the Somers.
We like to do this in coffeehouses and get people to pile up
those little packets of sugar pretending they're hundred
Yet another very cinematic C. Fox
Smith poem. The Blue
Peter refers to the signal flag that is flown to recall
the crew to a ship for imminent departure. We love the images
brought up of silent ships slipping through the water in the
In The Bay of Biscay on Hearts
of Gold, the returning sailor was, unfortunately, dead. John
Riley is a cheerier example of the Returning Sailor song.
Young John, returning from seven rough years at sea is unrecognizable
even to his sweetheart. He takes the opportunity to test her
love with a few questions and finds her ever faithful. We had
never heard this song before we found it in a book, but, since
we started to sing it we discovered that there are a number of
different recorded versions out there. Well - Here's another.
Hope you like ours.
We tinkered with this one quite
a bit. Come
Down to Hilo was originally the capstan shanty, Johnny
Come Down to Hilo. we put a very different spin on it one day
for a"song arranging" workshop we were giving at a
folk festival. The usual shanty rhythm is sacrificed for a closer
look at the lyrics and the feelings behind them."Hilo"
is a corruption of the name"Ilo", a port city in Peru.
Stan Hugill told us that the old sailors preferred to sing the
long I sound rather than the short i or the E sound in their
shanties, thus the song, Rio Grande, is not pronounced in the
Spanish style"ree-oh gran-day", but"rye-oh grand"
and"EE-low" became"High- low". This town
was also known as a major party town and"going on the Hilo"
was also a term for a fun-filled drunken spree. But to get there,
Jack Tar had to survive a trip round the corner
A>The corner referred to in Round
the Corner Sally is the treacherous Cape Horn. Many,
many songs exist about the dangers involved and the pleasures
that awaited the sailor who survived the passage. We've
indulged in some rock and roll fun in this version.
The same is true of The
Sailboat"Malarky" a song we heard from Portland,
Oregon Shanty singer Mary Benson, who's been singing it for years.
We just couldn't resist rocking out with it just a little
is a song from the Channel Islands.
We found a very different version of it while browsing through
the Kennedy Collection of British Isles Folksongs. This arrangement
grew from experimentation with MIDI files, composition and music
software. The traditional Irish jig, McHugh's came
to us through a curious series of cartoon books, Stuntology and
Tuneology by Sam Bartlett of Indiana.
One of the oldest known hauling
shanties according to the late, great Stan Hugill, Haul
on the Bowline dates back to the time when a bowline
was an important line on a ship, not just a knot from the Boy
Felicia Dale: hurdy-gurdy, whistles, vocals
William Pint: acoustic/electric guitars, mandola,
and special guests:
percussion on Ruchenitsa, John Riley
violin, and harmony vocals on The Beaches of Leukannon, violin
on Ruchenitsa and Marguerite
Keyboards on Sugar in the Hold, The Tryphina's Extra Hand
digeridoo on Round the Corner Sally
Nancy Wharton: 'cello on Blue Peter, The
Beaches of Leukannon, Come Down to Hilo.
Curtis Lloyd: Kit Drums on Round the Corner,
Sailboat Malarkey, Sugar in the Hold
David Pascal: bass guitar on John Riley, Sugar
in the Hold, Sailboat Malarkey.
Sean Sharp: Percussion on Come Down to Hilo
Percussion on Marguerite and Come Down to Hilo.
recorded, mixed and mastered at JB Productions,
produced by W.Pint and F. Dale
engineered by Jim "Faders" Bachman
and Alicia Healey
graphics and layout by Adrienne Robineau
BIG THANKS department:
Alicia for stepping in to help, and Jim for letting her.
Andrew Calhoun at Waterbug for continuing to roll boulders up
music biz hill.
Annette Brigham for continued support in all our musical endeavors.