How Far South did the Titanic Reach?

Dec 4, 2000
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Jim et al --

Sea shanties are wonderful songs for swingin' a lantern or hoistin' a pint. There was a time when no sailor would sing them ashore. They were sung only at sea and only by men. Jolly tars with hearts o' oak. Now, they're mostly heard in waterfront taverns and such. The best place to find a modest collection is on Youtube by searching for "sea shanties."

As to Paddy West -- here's perhaps the best version for getting the tune:

Shanties reached the peak in the late 1800s and by Titanic's time were relegated to those windjammers still plying their trade around the globe. Still, I'll bet one or two were sung off watch by the ol' timers who remembered.

-- David G. Brown
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
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Funchal. Madeira
Thanks, David. I tried playing it but it seems that the furnaces in the boiler rooms of my steam-driven computer have been raked out. No problem, I downloaded the sheet music.

Shanties did not completely die-down. You are correct. Even in my distant youth, during and after WW2, they would be sung in school rooms and in ship's mess rooms. As people became less honorable and crude, new version appeared...
"Oh come all ye lads ans we'll sing o' the sea" and "Shenandoah" were replaced by "It was in the Adriatic and the crew were nearly static" , " It was on the good ship Venus" and the one we young apprentices roared with laughter at:
"The mate , his name was Carter,
Good Lord! he was a fa..er,
He could fa.t any thing from God Save the King,
To Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata."
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Jim ---

We're as far off course in this thread as the naviguesser who shot the truck light for a star...but one more shanty won't do us any harm. The ribald lyrics you recall are probably closer to the real words of the 1870s or 80s than the Bowdlerized versions of today. The only singer who kept true in that respect was Oscar Brand who gave us a lusty version of "Good Ship Venus" and an amusing account of "Three Old Whores From Winnipeg."

-- David G. Brown