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GUEST,SB666 Shanties & sea songs with Gareth Malone BBC4 (22) RE: Shanties & sea songs with Gareth Malone BBC4 01 Oct 20

"great footage of the Peking"??? She was in New York for decades, and is now being restored in Hamburg. How come she fearured in the film?

But now-a-days shanties are a stage act anyway - a bit like the Sailor's Hornpipe was on the Victorian music hall stage. Ever tried step-dancing on a moving deck - impossible.

In the late 1900s sea shanties were tried on various tall ships, and basically they failed. The reasons were quite simple. In the old days the rigging was heavy and required a united effort to pull sheets and raise sails and halyards - that effort was co-ordinated through shanties. But today's modern tall ships have sophisticated and light rigging that does not require such an effort. So it was found that shanties don't work anymore. And capstans are largely extinct anyway.

Whilst the STA and other Brit. tall ships use "2,6,heave" to unite effort for heavier work such as raising a halyard or bracing the yards, old style sea chanties simply don't have the right rhythms or speed for relatively effortless work with modern rigs fitted out with devices to give every mechanical advantage the old sailors never enjoyed.

The other major issue is the use of 'pretty' singing in harmonies - er, sorry if a shsnty is to be used to help with hard manual labour then harmonies are the last thing needed.

Many times I have suggested to shanty singers that they actually try and sail a tall ship to appreciate what a shanty can do to help ease the hard work on a tall ship. Chris Roche, and the late Stan Hugill, and the late Johnny Collins are / were some of the very few sea shanty singers that I knew who actually used shanties for real whilst sailing.

Certainly Gareth Malone never sailed a tall ship to appreciate the use of sea shanties. A lost opportunity there.


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