I have to admit that Sea Shanties have never really featured highly in my life.
The obvious exception is the Keel Row which is a Tyneside song about the lives of the Keelmen (YouTube here). Of course growing up I didn’t realise that people did not know these songs (rather like Bobby Shaftoe).
Recently as I was buying a pair of buckled shoes, of which there will be a post soon, I’m VERY excited about buckled shoes, I started singing Bobby Shaftoe. Of course no one really knows it if they are not from the North East. (YouTube here).
So apart from such influences, Sea Shanties do not necessarily spring to my mind. But as we walked on the Chartres Pilgrimage this year, I heard the Chavagnes Scouts singing this – Santiano. It is quite modern, written in 1961 and falls into that band of music that gets under your skin. That is not to say it is good or bad, after all I needed intensive therapy to get over ‘Reach for the Stars’ – I never think about it at all now… rats!
Apparently in France it is quite popular… I don’t know if I should end that sentence “for a Sea Shanty” but there you go.
I'm trying to learn it (incultration and all that) and driving my secretary mad in the process.