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BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties

GUEST 07 May 10 - 04:16 PM
Joe G 07 May 10 - 04:58 PM
John MacKenzie 07 May 10 - 05:06 PM
Tug the Cox 07 May 10 - 05:14 PM
Tradsinger 07 May 10 - 05:15 PM
GUEST 07 May 10 - 05:36 PM
Edthefolkie 07 May 10 - 05:43 PM
8_Pints 07 May 10 - 05:43 PM
Richard Bridge 07 May 10 - 05:59 PM
GUEST,Eliza 07 May 10 - 06:05 PM
Steve Gardham 07 May 10 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,Eliza 07 May 10 - 06:49 PM
Joe G 07 May 10 - 07:01 PM
JeffB 07 May 10 - 07:43 PM
George Papavgeris 08 May 10 - 12:13 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 08 May 10 - 12:40 AM
Dave Hanson 08 May 10 - 03:01 AM
John MacKenzie 08 May 10 - 03:48 AM
Marje 08 May 10 - 04:07 AM
John J 08 May 10 - 04:39 AM
doc.tom 08 May 10 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,Dave (Bridge) 08 May 10 - 04:55 AM
buddhuu 08 May 10 - 06:07 AM
Liz the Squeak 08 May 10 - 06:32 AM
goatfell 08 May 10 - 06:44 AM
John MacKenzie 08 May 10 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,Betsy 08 May 10 - 07:33 AM
John J 08 May 10 - 08:18 AM
Mr Red 08 May 10 - 08:28 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 May 10 - 08:41 AM
Jim Carroll 08 May 10 - 08:58 AM
Tug the Cox 08 May 10 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,erbert 08 May 10 - 10:29 AM
Dave MacKenzie 08 May 10 - 10:49 AM
buddhuu 08 May 10 - 11:20 AM
GUEST,erbert 08 May 10 - 11:43 AM
buddhuu 08 May 10 - 12:06 PM
Tootler 08 May 10 - 07:59 PM
Dave Hanson 09 May 10 - 03:22 AM
George Papavgeris 09 May 10 - 04:12 AM
John MacKenzie 09 May 10 - 04:27 AM
Worcesterman 09 May 10 - 04:32 AM
Tug the Cox 09 May 10 - 11:42 AM
Herga Kitty 09 May 10 - 12:25 PM
Herga Kitty 09 May 10 - 01:05 PM
Jim Carroll 09 May 10 - 02:55 PM
Mr Fox 09 May 10 - 08:39 PM
scowie 10 May 10 - 03:55 AM
Folkiedave 10 May 10 - 04:09 AM
nutty 10 May 10 - 06:18 AM
mattkeen 10 May 10 - 06:36 AM
Mr Happy 10 May 10 - 07:15 AM
Tootler 10 May 10 - 04:32 PM
Richard Bridge 10 May 10 - 05:20 PM
Joe G 10 May 10 - 05:27 PM
Lighter 10 May 10 - 05:45 PM
Richard Bridge 10 May 10 - 06:41 PM
melodeonboy 10 May 10 - 06:50 PM
Gibb Sahib 10 May 10 - 06:59 PM
Gweltas 10 May 10 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 11 May 10 - 03:09 AM
GUEST,glueperson 11 May 10 - 03:29 AM
IanC 11 May 10 - 03:42 AM
Sailor Ron 11 May 10 - 03:58 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 11 May 10 - 04:48 AM
matt milton 11 May 10 - 04:52 AM
melodeonboy 11 May 10 - 05:52 AM
Jim Carroll 11 May 10 - 07:33 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 11 May 10 - 08:00 AM
Dave Hanson 11 May 10 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,bigJ 11 May 10 - 10:30 AM
GUEST,glueperson 11 May 10 - 11:33 AM
Aeola 11 May 10 - 05:19 PM
Mr Red 12 May 10 - 08:20 AM
Jim Carroll 12 May 10 - 08:56 AM
GUEST,keith A o Hertford 12 May 10 - 09:15 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 May 10 - 09:35 AM
greg stephens 12 May 10 - 09:37 AM
Girl Friday 12 May 10 - 10:54 AM
greg stephens 12 May 10 - 10:56 AM
Dave Hanson 12 May 10 - 11:00 AM
Jim Carroll 12 May 10 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,LDT 12 May 10 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,^&* 12 May 10 - 11:16 AM
Rob Naylor 12 May 10 - 12:09 PM
Gibb Sahib 12 May 10 - 01:35 PM
Herga Kitty 12 May 10 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,glueperson 12 May 10 - 02:11 PM
Dave Hanson 12 May 10 - 03:12 PM
Girl Friday 12 May 10 - 04:55 PM
Jim Carroll 12 May 10 - 05:51 PM
vectis 12 May 10 - 06:27 PM
Girl Friday 13 May 10 - 04:54 PM
GUEST,flyingcat(moira) 14 May 10 - 04:00 AM
Jim Carroll 14 May 10 - 04:27 AM
GUEST 14 May 10 - 04:28 AM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 14 May 10 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,Irene 14 May 10 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,g 14 May 10 - 10:01 AM
Manitas_at_home 14 May 10 - 10:30 AM
Tattie Bogle 14 May 10 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,Dave in Sheffield 14 May 10 - 01:37 PM
Girl Friday 18 May 10 - 02:01 PM
Gibb Sahib 25 May 10 - 03:43 PM
r.padgett 07 Jun 10 - 04:34 AM
Vin2 07 Jun 10 - 07:47 AM
Vin2 07 Jun 10 - 08:06 AM
8_Pints 28 Jun 10 - 06:44 AM
The Sandman 28 Jun 10 - 04:38 PM
The Sandman 28 Jun 10 - 05:12 PM
8_Pints 28 Jun 10 - 07:04 PM
GUEST 24 Aug 10 - 10:46 AM
Gavin Paterson 25 Aug 10 - 07:40 AM
Ed. 25 Aug 10 - 07:54 AM
Ed. 25 Aug 10 - 08:01 AM
Old Vermin 25 Aug 10 - 09:18 AM
G-Force 25 Aug 10 - 02:10 PM
Gavin Paterson 25 Aug 10 - 02:15 PM
Aeola 25 Aug 10 - 03:16 PM
Continuity Jones 25 Aug 10 - 03:23 PM
mattkeen 26 Aug 10 - 04:16 AM
Janet Elizabeth 26 Aug 10 - 01:02 PM
stallion 26 Aug 10 - 01:10 PM
The Sandman 26 Aug 10 - 01:24 PM
Janet Elizabeth 26 Aug 10 - 01:57 PM
Old Vermin 27 Aug 10 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Ed 27 Aug 10 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,Badjelly 15 Apr 11 - 07:38 AM
doc.tom 15 Apr 11 - 12:09 PM
The Sandman 15 Apr 11 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,Mike Rogers 16 Apr 11 - 03:56 AM
Noreen 15 May 11 - 05:12 PM
JohnH 15 May 11 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Phil Edwards 11 Dec 17 - 04:54 PM
The Sandman 12 Dec 17 - 04:13 AM
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Subject: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 10 - 04:16 PM

Gareth Malone of choir fame is doing a prog about work songs & shanties right now on BBC4.

g


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Joe G
Date: 07 May 10 - 04:58 PM

Brilliant programe - folk music being taken seriously! - repeated later tonight


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 07 May 10 - 05:06 PM

So enmjoyable, and it included at least 4 people I know personally. Quite eerie in a way.
Well worth a watch though.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 07 May 10 - 05:14 PM

Shoals of Herring a Scottish song? Written by that wel known son of Salford James Miller (aka Ewan MacColl)


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Tradsinger
Date: 07 May 10 - 05:15 PM

Good programme, well presented. The only cringe moment was calling "Shoals of Herring" a Scottish song. However, I felt that presenter engaged well with the subject and was genuinally impressed with what he heard.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST
Date: 07 May 10 - 05:36 PM

Funnily enough, the Scottish reference to Shoals of Herring got up my nose too. They should ask someone, shouldn't they.

g


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 07 May 10 - 05:43 PM

Yup, nice programme! I thought there was going to be a traditional Martin and Norma moment in Robin Hood's Bay but no such luck.

When "Shoals of Herring" surfaced I shouted WHAAAAT?? at the telly and nearly caused my daughter to knock her laptop over. Actually I'm waiting for "Poor Ditching Boy" and "Beeswing" to be written up in a thesis.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: 8_Pints
Date: 07 May 10 - 05:43 PM

What surprised me was that there was no mention of Stan Hugil!

Didn't see the Researcher's name in the credits: perhaps they dispensed with his/her services...

Bob


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 May 10 - 05:59 PM

Who is Malone? He seemed very uninformed and naive. I was surprised to hear THAT verse from "Johnny come down to Hilo" though - even in bowdlerised form.

Surely the programme also erred in treating shanty as a UK form, and it failed to note the distinction between a shanty and a forebitter, and repeatedly misused the expression "folksinger" when it should have said "folksong singer".

But glad it was done. Nice to see some of the faces with whom one has damaged ones voice late at night in various festival bars...


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 07 May 10 - 06:05 PM

Has anyone heard the Sheringham Shantymen? They raise a lot of money for the RLNI. I had hoped to hear a bit about them on the programme. Have spent many happy lunchtimes during the Pottie Festival in Sheringham listening to their performance down by the sea there. Most of them are lifeboatmen or fishermen, so their singing has a genuine feel.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 May 10 - 06:33 PM

They missed a great opportunity considering the only trad version of 'Three Score and Ten' was recorded from The Filey Fishermen's Choir.

Eliza 'Most of them are lifeboatmen or fishermen, so their singing has a genuine feel.'
Curious, Why? Do lifeboatmen and fishermen do much singing nowadays?
Obviously the choirs do. Would a lifeboatman be any more 'genuine' singing a chanty than say a bank clerk or a teacher?

I applaud the concept of the programme and hope it engenders some interest in the subject. A really historic and accurate programme on chanties and their background would make a cracking programme IMHO.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 07 May 10 - 06:49 PM

L rather meant that these men know the sea and its dangers so well that they feel an affinity with the subjects of the songs. They are singing about disasters and hardships which they themselves have experienced.The Norfolk coast is still very dangerous. Many of the group are elderly and have been on lifeboat crews, and seen tragedies at first hand. Their grandfathers etc. perhaps lost their lives to the sea. I have noticed tears in the eyes of the older ones when they sing, I find it very touching.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Joe G
Date: 07 May 10 - 07:01 PM

I must admit I was puzzled by the Shoals of Herring reference and thought maybe I had got it wrong!


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: JeffB
Date: 07 May 10 - 07:43 PM

Actually Richard, the distinction between shanties and forebitters was noted, though the word "forebitters" wasn't used. Jim Mageean said something to effect that shanties were used strictly for work and only other songs were sang off-duty (or maybe he said "ashore"). I think your point about treating shanties as if they are a peculiarly English song-form is good comment, and makes me wonder why the script wasn't run past someone with a bit of knowledge before going to air. Perhaps they didn't want things to get too complicated, but a sentence or two about the international influences would not have been out of place.

Well, we are bound to all have our little quibbles. Considering that songs relating to the sea is a huge subject, the programme got round most aspects pretty well and in a sympathetic and engaging way. I thought the weakest part was at the beginning when someone (whose name I missed - would have been nice if the director had put in subtitles with people's names, which I think would have been only courteous) tried to get the crew of a brig to sing a shanty while bracing-up in the Solent. A brave attempt, but for me it showed that we sing shanties about four times faster than would have been practical.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 08 May 10 - 12:13 AM

Not only is Richard right about shanties not being an exclusively English song-form, but from what I know they were an excellent vehicle for cross-cultural transfer, what with many of the commercial crews being a mix of nationalities etc. Indeed, 20 years ago when we lived in the Netherlands and my son was going to primary school, I was most surprised one evening when he came out with a couple of shanties I could have sworn were English - in Dutch.

I agree that they missed a trick if they made no mention of Stan Hugill. I have seen some great videos of him both singing and explaining the background of songs & shanties.

I missed the BBC4 programme thanks to a recent addiction/affliction to Ashes to Ashes but will catch up as soon as they put it up on iPlayer.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 08 May 10 - 12:40 AM

I really enjoyed this programme. Lets hope that as it's been well received, the Beeb will be encouraged to explore further. Thank God for BBC 4, that's all I can say!


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 08 May 10 - 03:01 AM

There is a little bit of Stan singing in the background of the film, but strange not to mention the worlds last genuine shantyman when so much information about him is available.

I love the song ' Shoals of Herring ' and cringe everytime the Irish claim it, and bugger me now the Scots as well.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 08 May 10 - 03:48 AM

Well I for one, am amazed and pathetically grateful, that they did a whole programme about shanties at all.
So they got Shoals of Herring wrong, and we all shouted at out TV's and felt superior, but ask yourself this. When was the last time you heard/saw this [or any other]folk song, sung on TV in a serious context?
It's one small step for shanties, one giant leap for TV


Please don't bother letting me know your views on whether Shoals of Herring is a folk song or not. Life is tedious enough at the moment, with all the politics on TV.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Marje
Date: 08 May 10 - 04:07 AM

I enjoyed it immensely. Yes, Gareth came across as a bit naive, but that's how he is. He knows a lot more than he lets on about singing (mostly classical), and is curious to explore shanty singing, which to him is new and different. In this, he probably speaks for many of the viewers, who know little or nothing of shanties, so he's a good choice of presenter.

I thought some of his observations were quite sensitive and perceptive, e.g. when he commented that the singers were, in most cases, not "performing", but singing for themselves and each other, and really immersing themselves in the sense of what the songs are about. This is, of course, characteristic of much traditional singing, but it's a novel idea to a classically trained singer.

I liked the way the programme attempted to sing the songs in their original contexts, even if the efforts to do so were somewhat contrived. And it was good to see the topic extended to women's songs and sailors' hymns, rather than just lusty seafarers' work-songs. Pity we got "South Australia" twice, when there are so many songs out there, but I'll forgive them for that.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: John J
Date: 08 May 10 - 04:39 AM

BBC iPlayer

Just started listening / watching online.

JJ


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: doc.tom
Date: 08 May 10 - 04:41 AM

One or two minor cringes, yes, but probably less cringe than any other TV programme I have seen concerning folk song and tradition in these countries of ours since 'The Future of Things Past'!

So they missed Stan - but they had him singing. They picked one group rather than another - they could hardly get them all in. They omitted the internationalism of the medium - but they only had one programme and had to communicate to a general public that is totally ignorant.

Good on BBC4 - write or ring or e-mail and tell them so.

TomB


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,Dave (Bridge)
Date: 08 May 10 - 04:55 AM

Yes it was a great programme and I am proud to have been present at one of the recordings. However, climbing that b****y lighthouse staircase was a chore and a half. So there were little things not quite right, so what? It got 'folksong singing' into a wider public space. I think it was a great mix and covered a wide spectrum in such a short space of time. Well done BBC 4 and all concerned


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: buddhuu
Date: 08 May 10 - 06:07 AM

Very nice to see.

May I second TomB's suggestion that we all email/write to the BBC to express our enjoyment and enthusiasm? Surely a good response may encouage them to consider more of the same in future.

The 'Points of View' messageboard is one place to leave comments (registration required).

I know registerin on sites s a bit of a chore, but surely this is a good case worthy of a minute of our time! ;-)

If anyone can find other ways to feedback to the Beeb, perhaps you could share them here.

The more positive reaction they get, the more chance they'll believe that there's a worthwhile audience for this stuff.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 08 May 10 - 06:32 AM

Bloody good job by the sound tech to get such results whils on board various vessels....

Was amused by the into wittering on about a the 'Englishness' of shanties, only to have the first song 'In south Australia I was born'!

Gareth is obviously a child of classical training, he looked far too fey and nesh to be ripping his hands to shreds hauling ropes but fair dos to him for having a go! The look on his face at certain points when listening to various groups was worth it - the slightly stunned look that classically trained performers get when they hear an untrained and amateur group singing in perfect harmony with no direction, for the sheer pleasure of doing it. Get him to a few singarounds at certain festivals and he might just get the hang of it!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: goatfell
Date: 08 May 10 - 06:44 AM

I watched the programme and it was good the shoals of herring was great and yes it was written by Ewan McColl, who claimed to Scottish but as you say was born in England to Scottish Parents.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 08 May 10 - 06:50 AM

I thought guest posts were allowed on music threads ?
Even though they were gormless!


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 08 May 10 - 07:33 AM

Despite all the minor shortcomings mentioned in th ethread thus far - it was nice to expose the average Joe & Joan to these songs , in fact one such, who has no interest in Folk Song (but he knows that I do) took the trouble to tell me he had been watching before he came into the pub last night and remarked that he'd really enjoyed it.
Little acorns perhaps !!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: John J
Date: 08 May 10 - 08:18 AM

I agree with you whole-heartedly Betsy!

Let's hope the Beeb and others continue to cover folk stuff.

JJ


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Mr Red
Date: 08 May 10 - 08:28 AM

Saw it last night.
Very informative and not all slick fluff.
What a documentary should be. A rare beast on even the BBC these days.
Gareth set-out his stall. He was a choral conductor with a passion to find-out more about things that intrigued him from his youth. Not a shanty singer, per se, and not a grafter. And not a mere observer neither.

I fully intended to go back and confirm suspicians that Ewen McColl was not credited, but Hey Ho! Ewen would have loved to be considered traditional.
cf
From the singing of Jimmy Miller?


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 May 10 - 08:41 AM

Very, very good indeed. I had also just finished Colin Irwins 'In Search of Albion' and it tied in nicely with the proposition that Folk music is the true music of these isles and as such we should be proud of it. I like to think of it as our own 'soul' music, but then again people do say I am crackers:-)

Yes, I noticed the Shoals of Herring reference but decided that as Ewan was doing hos best to be Scottish at the time it was written I could forgive them that. I was more surprised to see Joe Stead taking a background role in the Kimber's Men piece - You can't normaly shut Joe up! In the nicest possible way if you see this, Joe:-P Maybe that is why they kept him out of it!

Trouble is, although it is very good to see more about Folk on TV, I don't think we should let it get too popular. Imagine if Simon Cowell got hold of it... :-S

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 May 10 - 08:58 AM

"Ewen would have loved to be considered traditional."
Actually, he wouldn't - he was always specific about what was traditional and what wasn't. Neither Shoals of Herring nor The Fish Gutters' Song would have fitted.
Nor was he "doing his best to be Scottish at the time it was written" - listen to it and you'll find it was based on Sam Larner's East Anglian. The genius of all the Radio Ballad songs was that they drew directly from the vernacular of the subject matter - Travellers, road workers, teenagers, miners.....
Shoals of Herring in particular was based directly on actuality recorded from Sam and Ronnie Balls, another East Anglian fisherman.
Anyway, as far as 'trying to be Scottish', MacColl was brought up in a Scottish family surrounded by Scots, - so he didn't have to try too hard.
Why oh why....?
Enjoyed the prgramme but would have appreciated somebody leading it who knew a little more about the subject.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 08 May 10 - 09:48 AM

I think having someone who confessed relative ignorance as presenter worked well, as it allowed the singers to don the mantle of expert. The researchers should have known a bit more, for all the reasons mentioned. Surely they could have got someone from the folk world on board.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 08 May 10 - 10:29 AM

fell asleep and missed it...
then was too sleepy to remember to set the recorder for the later repeat.

When's it on the telly again ?


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 08 May 10 - 10:49 AM

After that debacle at Christmas, it was great to see BBC4 get something right. Ok, there were a few inaccuracies, but name me a program that doesn't have its share, but it took a novice and produced a very creditable introduction to "Shanties and Sea Songs" as sung in Great Britain.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: buddhuu
Date: 08 May 10 - 11:20 AM

Just reposting the link that JohnJ posted earlier in the thread in case anyone missed it.

Shanties on BBC iPlayer - Watch online.

iPlayer shows are usually available for about a month after broadcast (IIRC), so the link will expire eventually.

For those unfamiliar with iPlayer, if you have a broadband connection you can watch shows online. Most broadcasters have an equivalent - ITV, Channel 4 etc etc...

I posted some praise on the PoV message board earlier, but as I'm only an occasional participant in BBC discussions, I have to wait for my comments to be checked by a mod before they appear.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 08 May 10 - 11:43 AM

thanks, but a problem with iPlayer is its a rubbish way of watching good quality programmes
if broadband connection is unreliable,
and the last time I installed BBC software so I could
download the programmes as files to watch offline
it badly buggered my XP set up.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: buddhuu
Date: 08 May 10 - 12:06 PM

Well, for those who want it, there it is. For those who don't... well, don't worry, no one's going to make you use it.

XP? I think you'll find that comes badly buggered up as standard. It's a traditional Microsoft Windows feature.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Tootler
Date: 08 May 10 - 07:59 PM

I think you'll find things have changed now. I had software for downloading on my PC for a while and though it worked OK, it slowed WinXP down so I removed it eventually. If you wanted to stream through Firefox, you had to install the IE tab so you could fool them you were using Internet Explorer.

I watched the program this morning on Firefox running in Ubuntu Linux no problems. Obviously if you have a slow connection you will need to install the software for downloading and it is now available for Windows, Mac and some versions of Linux.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 09 May 10 - 03:22 AM

It's on again on Monday on BBC4 at 10.50pm

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 09 May 10 - 04:12 AM

Great programme, I take back my earlier comment about missing a reference to Stan H, I think in context it doesn't matter. Jim, you say that you'd have enjoyed it more if it were led by someone who knew more about the subject - I would have agreed with you if this had been an "educational" or historical kind of documentary, but this was more about the discoveries made by an innocent of the genre. In this context I found Gareth's enthusiasm more important that his lack of background knowledge.

There's only so much one can do in 1 hour. I'd have loved to have seen Stan and Johnny Collins, or to have had the links to the Amrican, Jamaican etc shanties shown, ot to have finished with the Farewell Shanty etc etc. But see how much they did pack in 1 hour, the personal accounts of so many proponents, the Filey and Whitby stories, the story of the herring lasses and so on!

On the subject of the "Shoals of herring" - I think people can be forgiven for thinking of it as a Scottish song (trad or not not an issue), given that the vast majority of the herring girls WERE Scots. So it was written by a non-Scot, but it is about their lives, so they are right to appropriate it. I think sometimes we nitpick too much of factual provenance compared to the provenance of the story told.

Finally, I was reminded once more how much Jim Mageean knows about the subject. Those of us who enjoy his delivery and festival appearances often forget that he's also quite a historian on the subject of sea songs & shanties.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 09 May 10 - 04:27 AM

If the aim is to interest those not already converted, to an interest in the music, then I think a presenter as ignorant of the subject as the majority of the viewers, was a good move.
Too many times, niche subjects like this are presented by "experts", and they get very anal about their subject, talk jargon, and lose those of us who know eff all about it.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Worcesterman
Date: 09 May 10 - 04:32 AM

Really good to watch a prog that dealt very well with sea-songs and their traditions. The 'Shoals of Herring' cringe moment has been spotted by loads of contributors, but Stan Hugill was there in the background as a few have commented. The lighthouse footage with Jim Mageean was brilliant.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 09 May 10 - 11:42 AM

George, MacColl WAS scottish. Born in salford to scottish parents and brought up in a tight knit scottish emigre society. The song, however, was written about East of England fisherMEN, deliberately using east english vernacular.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 09 May 10 - 12:25 PM

Thanks for continuing this from the previous thread and providing the link!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 09 May 10 - 01:05 PM

I think it would be great to get Gareth to a festival too... his previous choir series have been about encouraging people to sing, and I wonder how much exposure he's had to people who sing for their own enjoyment?

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 09 May 10 - 02:55 PM

George,
Shoals of Herring follows the life of a fisherman from cabin-boy to retirement; it is based roughly on Sam Larner's autobiographical narrative, with a little of Ronnie Balls' phrasing thrown in. Listen to how it is used on the Radio Ballad, nothing much Scots about it. Also listen to the magnificent 'Now Is The Time For Fishing' album of Sam; arguably the best presentation of a traditional singer ever issued IMO.
On the other hand, 'The Fish Gutters' Song' was based on Scots women talking about the gutting and sung in the Radio Ballad by two Scots Traveller women, Margaret and Elizabeth Stewart.
I wouldn't have wanted the programme to be a historical documentary; it worked well enough for me as it was. What did worry me was some of the misinformation, particularly about the songs. I think it is worth remembering that not everybody is as familiar with the subject as some of the people on this forum; particularly when the programme was sandwiched into a series which would have drawn a much wider audience than us folkies.
I have to say that I quite often duck and cringe when I hear folk music is to be used in programmes, usually drafted in by people who are unfamiliar with the genre and sung with about the same lack of understanding (I wonder if anybody remembers the lovely old shantyman Stanley Slade, complete with BBC choir for a chorus - oh dear!). On this occasion I was pleasantly surprised.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Mr Fox
Date: 09 May 10 - 08:39 PM

Funnily enough, the Scottish reference to Shoals of Herring got up my nose too. They should ask someone, shouldn't they.

There were three McColl songs passed off as 'traditional Scottish'. I noticed The Fisherman's Wife in there as well - and and there were great chunks (i.e. most of the song) of Come All Ye Fisher Lassies in the song that was sung in the museum.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: scowie
Date: 10 May 10 - 03:55 AM

Yes, there were bits you could point at, but how refreshing to see the folksong world displayed on the beeb without that all too often sneering.
Along with poor old morris dancing we are(or were!)the butt of the jokes of every second rate commedian that turns up pinching our licence fee, and insulting us while they do it.
This was O.K. I felt it was a real representation of our world, and I was happy with it.
The beeb should now send young Gareth to the Song and Ale, or Saddleworth f/fest, his eyes would open even wider! and I might possibly be persuaded buy the young pup a pint!
Cheers, Scowie.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 May 10 - 04:09 AM

And just to make it plain - Irene Watt would know perfectly well the history of "Shoals of Herring". It was the scriptwriter (Gareth?) that said it was "Scottish". I didn't hear anyone claim anything for the "Fish Gutter's Song - though the context made it seem as if it were traditional - a compliment to the writer I would have thought.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: nutty
Date: 10 May 10 - 06:18 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong - but I believe that the Nelson song (sung by Kimber's Men ?) was written by Richard Grainger.

I checked the credits and no acknowledgements were made. SHAME


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: mattkeen
Date: 10 May 10 - 06:36 AM

Generally great

I like Gareth - and he has a genuine love of singing and put over how emotionally powerful community singing, and especially men singing together, can be.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Mr Happy
Date: 10 May 10 - 07:15 AM

........Gareth also commented that singing by ordinary people was generally regarded as 'effete & unpopular' - not in my world - what planet's he live on?


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Tootler
Date: 10 May 10 - 04:32 PM

An excellent programme. I thought Gareth was a good choice for presenter. He has credibility with the general public and he approached the programme seriously and had a positive attitude to the subject and played the "wanting to find out more" line very effectively.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 May 10 - 05:20 PM

That comment ("effete and unpopular") is very accurate.

The soundtrack of the programme credited the Nelson song to one of Kimbers' Men.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Joe G
Date: 10 May 10 - 05:27 PM

Most of my friends find it inconceivable that I join in choruses at singarounds & gigs. Somehow though Karoke is seen as more normal!


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Lighter
Date: 10 May 10 - 05:45 PM

Apparently the show is not available to us Yanks.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 May 10 - 06:41 PM

Maybe someone who has the program "fairuse4wmv" can rip the programme and youtube it.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: melodeonboy
Date: 10 May 10 - 06:50 PM

Really engaging! Well done, BBC4.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 10 May 10 - 06:59 PM

Apparently the show is not available to us Yanks.

They are scared of the inevitable retaliation. :D


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Gweltas
Date: 10 May 10 - 11:26 PM

Someone should invite Gareth to further his education at the Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival (June 18th to 20th) According to their website there are 23 groups confirmed as singing at this year's festival, including shanty crews from Cornwall, Ireland, England, Guernsey, France, Netherlands and Germany !


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 11 May 10 - 03:09 AM

I would guess that contributers to the programme would have mentioned Stan Hugill. For example, Bernie Davis from Liverpool was the first stanty expert to appear on the programme and he knew Stan personally.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,glueperson
Date: 11 May 10 - 03:29 AM

"Too many times, niche subjects like this are presented by "experts", and they get very anal about their subject, talk jargon, and lose those of us who know eff all about it."

Damn right John.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: IanC
Date: 11 May 10 - 03:42 AM

I watched it last night and it was really good.

Why in hell would he want to mention people like Stan Hugill? The guy was trying to identify (and get the viewers to identify) with the communities around the coast, not get expert about who collected what and where.

I thought it was well presented and the best program showcasing folk music I've seen for a while on TV (perhaps the best ever). Particularly good that Gareth Malone let the people do the talking and listened to them singing. He even seemed embarrassed when he was asked to conduct.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 11 May 10 - 03:58 AM

"Why in hell would he want to mention people like Atan Hugill?" Because he not only collected shanyies, he WAS a shantyman, in fact he sang the last shanty on the last British flagged deep sea commercial sailing vessel.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 11 May 10 - 04:48 AM

Gareth did a great job. Far too often presenters have no genuine interest in the subject matter, or in actually listening to and responding to the people they interview. I liked his unusual lack of ego, and the emphasis on the subject matter. I liked the whole production, which treated the audience as neither imbeciles nor experts. Good job.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: matt milton
Date: 11 May 10 - 04:52 AM

I thought it was quite rubbish actually. Mainly because the presenter was so charisma-free and that he had nothing whatsoever to say. He was like a limp lettuce. It made an interesting contrast with the recent Mastercrafts series - in which Monty Don engaged with a bit of criticism and insight. Howard Goodall and Charles Hazlewood are quite irritating, but they at least have a bit of spark, and would've made a better hash of it.

It was nice to see this music in a TV documentary. But I just thought it was put together in a totally ad-hoc fashion. If I found it a tad boring, god knows what people who aren't actually even interested in sea shanties made of it.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: melodeonboy
Date: 11 May 10 - 05:52 AM

Charisma-free or ego-free? I'm with Crow Sister on this one; I go for the latter!


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 May 10 - 07:33 AM

"....and they get very anal about their subject, talk jargon, and lose those of us who know eff all about it."
Not sure it's the presenters who get anal, or those selfish bar-stewards who insist that everything broadcast on whatever subject should be exclusively at 'their' level of understanding and appreciation. Folk song, like everything else, comes in many aspects, and, while you can't please all of the people.... it is possible to strike a balance.
I thought the programme was...... OK; not great, but not bad.
For me, it lacked the authority of somebody who knew the subject enough to tease out more information from the participants.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 11 May 10 - 08:00 AM

Only a matter of time before we get "Strictly Come Keelhauling on Ice" then :)

I found it a fascinating program as a shantyman meself. Malone was wise to stand well back and let the singing do the work., One or two accuracy hitches as mentioned above but better than, say, David Starkey doing his "Henry VIII was furious..." with cutaway of some actor gurning away.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 May 10 - 08:29 AM

He would want to mention Stan Hugill IanC, because Stan was a real life shantyman and if he was looking for authenticity he could do worse than Stan's many recordings, Stan was also responsible for his great collection of songs, Shanties From The seven Seas, many of which would have been lost if not written down by Stan, not to mention Stan being shipwrecked twice, being taken POW and keeping the spirit burning with his song and stories.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 11 May 10 - 10:30 AM

I was surprised to learn from the programme that there was such a thing as a lobster-line mechanical-winch-hauling shanty (Fishermans Friends)!!


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,glueperson
Date: 11 May 10 - 11:33 AM

Pedantry passing itself off as historical accuracy on Mudcat! Surely not?


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Aeola
Date: 11 May 10 - 05:19 PM

Thoroughly enjoyed the prog, liked to have heard more singing but ,hey, just a taster for those less fortunate who have never never listened to shanties.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Mr Red
Date: 12 May 10 - 08:20 AM

"Ewen would have loved to be considered traditional."
Actually, he wouldn't - he was always specific about what was traditional and what wasn't.


And that was why his published book contained the famous quote? "From the singing of Jimmy Miller". Those who know, know. If you don't - do the research.

I happened to speak to Tam Kearny (Fiddlers Green FC Toronto c 1986) he knew the man and was told the story by Ewen of McColl collecting songs from lumberjacks there. He was "amused" (I quote Tam) to collect one of his own songs. "Learned at Grandmother's knee - it was" (it may have been Shoals...). Along with "Please Release Me, Let Me Go". You have to imagine the timing. It was feasible - given the relative ages involved. We know what we know, and assume the rest!!!! see above.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 May 10 - 08:56 AM

Mr Red - which book would that be? There are a number of songs attributed to his father, William Miller who, according to one of his contemporaries, the historian, Eddie Frow "had a lot of queer old Scots songs". Goldstein and others released LPs which contained songs attributed to MacColl, but Ewan (correct spelling) never at any time attributed songs to himself except the ones he'd written. He didn't consider himself a traditional singer, and was quick enough to correct anybody who said he was.
He was pleased to have his songs taken up by others and claimed as traditional, but he never did so himself. We recorded Freeborn Man and Thirty Foot Trailer from Travellers who claimed the songs belonged to the Travelling community, and have collected Shoals of Herring from Irish singers who believed it to be a Traditional Irish song. Several folkie clowns have suggested that MacColl stole the songs from traditional singers ( a sort of backhanded compliment, I suppose).
I don't need to do the research, I knew MacColl for over 20 years and worked with him for a great deal of that time (even lived with them for a short period) so I don't have to rely on malicious gossip for my information.
Now what is it that you know what you know?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,keith A o Hertford
Date: 12 May 10 - 09:15 AM

Big J.,
I think that the suggestion was that the rythm of the shanty matched the work, not that it was created for that work.
I do not believe that shanties are really used as work songs by Cornish fishermen or anyone else anymore, but I would like to be proved wrong.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 May 10 - 09:35 AM

We used shanties to keep our paddles in time on the the River Irwell Raft Race. But that was 20 years ago when the only criterea we had to work to was the raft had to fit on the roofrack of a Lada estate! Oh - and not to sink...

DeG


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: greg stephens
Date: 12 May 10 - 09:37 AM

I think the winch shanty should have been taken with a pinch of salt, along with most tales of the sea rold to landsman.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Girl Friday
Date: 12 May 10 - 10:54 AM

I heard about the programme in an email from Joe Stead.Set up my box to record the whole series. Watched the first one this morning, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I enjoyed Gareth's presentation. He seemed truly interested in the subject. I am surprised that none of the pedants picked up on the citing of McColl's Shoals of Herring as a Scottish song.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: greg stephens
Date: 12 May 10 - 10:56 AM

Girl Friday: you're a master of irony. Or possibly a litle challenged in the reading department. Either way, endearing.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 12 May 10 - 11:00 AM

Girl Friday, if take the trouble to read the whole thread you will find it was picked up many times.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 May 10 - 11:12 AM

"I am surprised that none of the pedants picked up on the citing of McColl's Shoals of Herring as a Scottish song."
We did - read the thread.
Why should it be pedantic to correct the misidentification of a song I wonder - you spotted it and mentioned it, so I assume that makes you a pedant.
Incidentally, as far as I am aware, the last reported hearing of anything resembling a shanty being sung to accompany work (not by folkies, that is) was in Dublin, some time in the sixties. Collector Tom Munnelly watched a gang of navvies pulling a cable through a pipe laid under the pavement and singing/chanting to mark time as they worked. He said the words were indistinguishable, but he got the impression they were just improvised nonsense.
Previous to that, The Portland (The Isle of Slingers, to Hardy fans) Quarrymen were recorded by the BBC using hymns to time their work some time in the early fifties.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,LDT
Date: 12 May 10 - 11:12 AM

I watched it coz I think Gareth Malone is a bit...cute. *bush*
Anyway...as someone not really familiar with shanty's but who loves historical adventures involving tall ships etc. I found it interesting and engaging.
No cringeworthy whaling....I mean wailing. ;)
I felt like it needed to be two programs long and kinda expanded on a bit more....coz it felt a bit rushed.
But on the whole loved it.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 12 May 10 - 11:16 AM

A long way from Dublin, I know, but just last year, on the coast of Kenya, I heard fishermen hauling long nets ashore using a shanty style call-and-response to coordinate their work.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 12 May 10 - 12:09 PM

Incidentally, as far as I am aware, the last reported hearing of anything resembling a shanty being sung to accompany work (not by folkies, that is) was in Dublin, some time in the sixties. Collector Tom Munnelly watched a gang of navvies pulling a cable through a pipe laid under the pavement and singing/chanting to mark time as they worked.

In 1978/79 when we were installing Pulse-8 radio-navigation stations on the west coast of Ireland, to cover the Porcupine Bank oil exploration, we sang to coordinate hauling up the antenna sections. The riggers (either Joe Breen or Vince Gallager) would stand at the top of the sections (triangular cross-sections of about 15 inches a side) already guyed off vertical, and coordinate us pulling the next 40 foot section up to them with a gin pole by singing a refrain where we'd pull on the chorus. It was usually something like "Haul Away Joe"...especially when Joe Breen was on the mast! They'd then bolt that 40 foot in place and climb it (unguyed) before bringing up the guy wires and guying off, repeating until we had the full 300 feet up.

We installed 300 foot masts at Mizzen Head, Erris Head and Hags Head in that way, singing to coordinate hauling throughout.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 12 May 10 - 01:35 PM

My dad, a botanist of some renown, had traveled to the deep Congo in 1982 looking for a rare plant that some believed could cure nose cancer. I accompanied him; he thought it would do me good to see the brutal realities of the jungle. It was then that, during a moment of privacy, I once saw a Hottentot picking his nose while humming a tune. I am quite sure that was the very last nose-picking chantey anybody anywhere has ever heard.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 12 May 10 - 02:07 PM

I didn't recognise the winch shanty, but Graeme Knights told me at Herga on Monday evening that it was written by Ken Stephens (who also wrote the Herzogin Cecile).

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,glueperson
Date: 12 May 10 - 02:11 PM

In the slum clearances of the 1960s, it was not unknown for the wrecking ball operator to become so sated with the destruction of Victorian terraced houses, that he had to be lead away weeping from his crane. At such times the rest of the demolition gang would swing the ball manually with the aid of ropes.

The timing of the haul and release was crucial if the dangerous weight was not to swing out of control and a particular form of shanty was developed to aid the ropemen. The songs became popular in and around the communities whose houses were being taken down but were brought to public notice and finally banned after a recalcitrant dowager some believed to be a witch, spread Nobby's Lament to the ears of comatose navvies during a Friday lock-in. The chant's curious timing began laying low wrecking crews with various muscular ailments, mostly the result of whiplash injuries and was finally identified by Dr Wong as Refrain Snatch, though it was more commonly known by earthier titles.

The old woman was removed to the 19th floor of Wormwood Towers, a notorious high rise based on Le Corbusier's absinthe period and she died shortly afterwards of a licquorice overdose. There was a brief Snatch revival in the 80s lead by The Wreckers and Boys With Massive Balls who combined leather jerkins with surgical collars but it came to nothing and none of the original material is extant.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 12 May 10 - 03:12 PM

Sid Kipper knew them all, famous gardening shanty ' Blood Red Roses '
sewing shanty ' General Taylor ' and a good old bread cutting shanty ' Hollow Ground '

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Girl Friday
Date: 12 May 10 - 04:55 PM

Ok... I did read through the posts, but missed it. There is so much to trawl through.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 May 10 - 05:51 PM

"Ok... I did read through the posts, but missed it."
Easily done - but still don't know why correcting basic misinformation makes anybody a pedant, and why your spotting it and pointing it out doesn't make you one.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: vectis
Date: 12 May 10 - 06:27 PM

Kitty and Graeme are right Ken Stevens of Southampton wrote Rattle Them Winches.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Girl Friday
Date: 13 May 10 - 04:54 PM

Jim - the mudcat's full of people who spot every small thing and comment on it. I meant no offence, and if you knew me you'd know that.

SORRY!!!! Anyway, I've now seen the programme about square riggers and, what a shame that Hughie Jones got no credit.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,flyingcat(moira)
Date: 14 May 10 - 04:00 AM

Just thought I'd let everyone know that shanties and sea songs are still being sung in the most unlikely places. I was wallking up the hospital car park to work this morning (7.45) and 2 kiddies got out of their car with their mother singing "Hoo ray and up she rises, early in the morning!!" It was brilliant. Who says folk music's dead!! M


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 May 10 - 04:27 AM

Girl Friday - Sorry as well. Wasn't really having a go; have got a little over-sensitive to label-pinning of late,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST
Date: 14 May 10 - 04:28 AM

I began counting what time intervals that intervened before I shouted at the TV again about some inaccuracy or misrepresentation - an average 4 minutes. But still I was delighted it was there and at much of the content though lamenting at how it could have been better. On use of worksongs at or on the water, in 1966 I was on a two car flat metal ferry crossing a river up the coast from Mombasa. There was a toll bridge that was an easier faster crossing but the ferry was the way to go. It was carrid over by chains running on either side. These were dragged by a team of convicts on either side of the boat! They worked in rhythm pulling the chain along the side, when they rerached the front of the boat they would run to the back and seize hold to drag again. WEhill pulling they sang a song, and now and then one running to the back would brerak off to do a few dance steps. When we were about three quarters across the weight of the chain behind us meant that the boat would keep running as long as the chain did not catch in its channel, so to keep it moving the pulling gang needed to jump up and down. This they did at the prow in front of me, finishing their singing with semi-choreographed dancing. This meant of course a good tip [the ferry itself was free] for them, reinforced by the Swahili words of their song which said I was a big boss on his way from Mombasa to Nairobi [I was in fact on my way to Sunday lunch in a hotel in a compass heading 75 degrees wrong for Nairobi, which they well knew but did not fit the tight five syllable line they were using.
I think I may have told this story on Mudcat before, but what the hell, tell em when you can!
Ewan


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 14 May 10 - 04:31 AM

Sorry, forgot to put my name at the top of the above tale.
Ewan


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,Irene
Date: 14 May 10 - 09:30 AM

I actually sang Shoals of Herring on the programme and I never said that it was Scottish - what I said was that it was my father's favourite song and he used to sing it all the time. He was a fisherman, skippered his own boat, and he knew the life and he always felt that Ewan McColl captured the life very well in his songs. It was never meant to be a traditional song either. For my part what I was doing was highlighting the fact that the fishing life was shared equally between men and women and that has also been preserved in song whether traditional or contemporary. My mother was involved in fish curing at age 14 and all my ancestors both in the female line and the male line have been connected to the fishing industry. As for Gareth not being an expert - well the whole point was that he was visiting places in the country where sea songs of any kind are important and finding out about the people who sang them.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,g
Date: 14 May 10 - 10:01 AM

Maybe they think "Yarmouth Harbour" is somewhere in Scotland.

g


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 14 May 10 - 10:30 AM

Gareth said it was a Scottish song but he wasn't to know.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 May 10 - 11:09 AM

Girl Friday also said: There is so much to trawl through.

Now was that a deliberate joke? In this context, quite a good one, if so!
Tug the Cox (friend o' mine) mentioned the non-Scottishness of the song in post no 4 on this thread.

And Yarmouth, there are two, one on the Isle of Wight, but it's obviously the East Anglian Great one here. But as has been mentioned elsewhere, the Fish Gutters song is about all the young women who "traivelled all aroon" any fishing ports, including Yarmouth. The first verse mentions a whole cluster of ports in the N East of Scotland from whence they came.

Whatever you think about "Shoals" being included in the programme, it was good to see Irene and Graham ( more friends) singing it.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: GUEST,Dave in Sheffield
Date: 14 May 10 - 01:37 PM

Well said Irene and I have pointed out precisely what you said elsewhere.

And it was great to hear Graham singing - didn't know he was that good!!


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Girl Friday
Date: 18 May 10 - 02:01 PM

Yes- the song was beautifully sung. Yes - the pun was intended.


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 25 May 10 - 03:43 PM

If they'd had the self-restraint to leave "shanties" out of the discussion, it might have been good. Even though there was hardly a shanty in the program, they kept invoking this quaint idea of "shanties", as if to piggy-back on their history and the idea of these "roughie toughie" work songs. The info on shanties, however, was mostly erroneous, and the "demonstration" did not work (songs were improperly matched and the work performed clumsily -- they could at least have a demonstration by people who were experienced). And then you have the Fisherman's Friends, who can't seem to get past "Nancy Blair" before ending their 3-5 verse shanty inspired cover-songs. Hmm, that lobster pot shanty didn't look like it was coordinating anything, to me.

Basically, cut the pretense. Make the program about the GROUPS/PERFORMERS, whatever they are doing. Stop making up history and subjecting them to pretense. Focus on what they are ACTUALLY doing: their comraderie, their community, and their great singing of songs inspired by the sea and nautical life. Leave in the stories about the performers and their lives, and the communities they address. Leave out the constant, erroneous, nationally/ethnically biased fluff....seriously, there is already enough misinformation, and already enough damage done to traditional genres.


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Subject: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: r.padgett
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 04:34 AM

Anyone catch this programme?

Had Kimbers men, Keelers, Jim Mageean, Fisherman's friends etc

Ray


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Vin2
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 07:47 AM

Yeah only caught the last 30 mins Ray. Great to see tho. Lovely story re the rescue of the fishermen off Robin Hood's Bay, having litterally carted the lifeboat over from Whitby plus the tragedy of the whole fleet of fishermen wiped out in a single night in 16somethin-or-other leaving around a dozen widows. Great tv for a change !


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Subject: RE: Shanties BBC4 right now
From: Vin2
Date: 07 Jun 10 - 08:06 AM

Sorry, my previous bit was a reply to a post from Ray Padgett on a new thread.

I'm sure the programme did have a few inaccuracies and probably, in the eyes of those more learned on the subject, been done a lot better.

However, for all its minus points it was a perhaps a good introduction to a history of a once great industry on our isle since 'butchered', in my umble opinion, on the alter of economics and politics (sorry for rant). Maybe some younger viewers, especially perhaps those who witnesssed the filming, who are new to the subject might pursue it further. In that sense alone, the programme was a plus mark for tv.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: 8_Pints
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 06:44 AM

I spoke to Jim Mageean yesterday at the "Sing your Heart Out" event run by Angie & Ken Blaydon, concerning the omission of any mention of Stan Hugill.

Jim informed me that Gareth had asked him in interview of his musical influences, and Jim had described all the work and contribution Stan had made in collecting shanties, etc.

Unfortunately this ended up on the cutting room floor which explains the exclusion.....

Bob


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 04:38 PM

Blayden, not Blaydon
the Portland Quarrymen were recorded byPeter Kennedy


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 05:12 PM

BLADEN


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: 8_Pints
Date: 28 Jun 10 - 07:04 PM

Thanx for the correction....

Bob


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 10:46 AM

Repeated tonight on BBC 4 @ 10pm if you haven't seen it.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: Gavin Paterson
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 07:40 AM

I'm quite surprised that some of you liked the presenter.

Alan Partridge was all that came to my mind. The bemused facial expressions especially.

Good programme though..


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: Ed.
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 07:54 AM

I'm quite surprised that some of you liked the presenter. Alan Partridge was all that came to my mind. The bemused facial expressions especially.

What the hell is it about 'Folkies' that they need to find something to critize?


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: Ed.
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 08:01 AM

critize = criticise, obviously.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: Old Vermin
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 09:18 AM

Duly recorded. From the foregoing I think it may help to watch it from the perspective of an intelligent member the television audience rather than from the very specialised viewpoint of a knowledgeable folkie.

The audience for BBC4 is small enough to imperil its survival. There are probably more people in it, though, than there are folkies in England. You could probably take every person who attends a folk-festival proper, a sing-around or a ceilidh or dances Morris in a year and not have enough to 'justify' one TV programme being screened.

From what I've seen so far it is well and pleasantly put together, and I look forward to watching and listening to the rest of it.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: G-Force
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 02:10 PM

Well, from two died-in-the wool folkies we enjoyed it (and no-one would describe either of us as a lover of sea shanties).   One can't expect the BBC to get a specialist subject completely right so I think we should stop being so critical and be grateful it was shown at all. Any airing of our folk traditions has to be a good thing.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: Gavin Paterson
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 02:15 PM

I thought it was great. Really. It was such a shame that Alan didn't use his catch phrase.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: Aeola
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 03:16 PM

THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE... IT'S BETTER TO SHOW SOME BITS THAN NONE AT ALL!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: Continuity Jones
Date: 25 Aug 10 - 03:23 PM

THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE... IT'S BETTER TO SHOW SOME BITS THAN NONE AT ALL!



---


And thus spake Aeola!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: mattkeen
Date: 26 Aug 10 - 04:16 AM

Great


Not entirely accurate
Gareth is a very good presenter
He's enthusiastic about singing particualrly and had a genuine feeling for the lives of those being sung about


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: Janet Elizabeth
Date: 26 Aug 10 - 01:02 PM

You can watch this on iPlayer - have to be quick though as it will expire at 10:59pm on Tuesday 31st August 2010

http://bbc.co.uk/i/s97c0/
or
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00s97c0/Shanties_and_Sea_Songs_with_Gareth_Malone/


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: stallion
Date: 26 Aug 10 - 01:10 PM

MMMMMMMMMMM you lot are being unusually tolerant with this prog. I fully expected everyone to be venting their spleen / showing off their knowledge. Maybe the mistakes were so obvious that it would have been crass to mention it. Anyway I think Gareths enthusiasm is genuine and at least he is trying. Oh, I enjoyed it.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Aug 10 - 01:24 PM

re. nuttys post
Richard Grainger did write a song about Nelson, "on board a man of war"?was this the same song, I cant get BBC, If it was he should have been credited.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: Janet Elizabeth
Date: 26 Aug 10 - 01:57 PM

One thing in the programme I missed before which I could see with iPlayer - the book mentioned at the beginning (which includes Volga Boat song I noticed) is Sea Shanties collected and edited by R R Terry.
None of the singers were credited on the BBC web site.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: Old Vermin
Date: 27 Aug 10 - 05:17 AM

Not too much point in venting spleen for whatever the errors might be.

I just assume that any broadcast or newspaper report is almost always put together by people who of necessity know less than the specialist and are producing something for the entertainment and information of a general audience. Just has to be selective and simplified.

Just be thankful that there was a programme on shanties rather than, say, dog agility trials or steam traction engines or wood-turning.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 27 Aug 10 - 05:23 AM

programme on shanties rather than, say, dog agility trials or steam traction engine

I happen to like sheep dogs and steam engines, but there we go....


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: GUEST,Badjelly
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 07:38 AM

The "Nelson" song with "on board a man of war" in the Chorus is entitled "The Death of Nelson" by Richard Grainger which is on his first album, " Herbs on the Heart" recorded on Fellside.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: doc.tom
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 12:09 PM

In view of earlier comments, I hope I don't seem pedantic, BUT I believe the TUNE of the version of Death of Nelson that is being referred to was written by Richard Grainger: the SONG is an old broadside and previously had it's own tune - or else the Leader Records' track of George Dunn singing it on his eponymous LP is spurious! (He was only about 60 years older than Richard).


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: The Sandman
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 01:49 PM

Legally and morally if his tune was used[ even if the broadside was unaltered], he is due royalties and recognition , if he altered the broadside and added a chorus or whatever, he is entitled to recognition for his creative work.
george dunn?was he the one who made up his own tunes to traditional songs, or am i confusing him with bob belton, or someone else.
as you well know,if the song is an old broadside it is out of copy right, and as Richard put music to it he is entitled to 100percent royalties, on the music and words, plus recognition for putting it back into circulation, I reckon he may have altered words considerably, but I am as always prepared and happy to be corrected.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: GUEST,Mike Rogers
Date: 16 Apr 11 - 03:56 AM

Having missed this programme last year I was delighted to catch up with it. I thought it was excellent and so did the the OH who is not a dyed-in-the-wool folk fan.We felt that the harmonies and diverse voices of the northern groups were superior to the more famous Fishermens Friends, but then we're both Tykes. I could certainly handle a follow-up, although a programme commissioner reading some of the comments on here might well feel inclined to just say 'folk it'.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: Noreen
Date: 15 May 11 - 05:12 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: JohnH
Date: 15 May 11 - 05:44 PM

Fluffy in parts but the thin edge of the wedge? Not bad for the box!


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: GUEST,Phil Edwards
Date: 11 Dec 17 - 04:54 PM

Just caught up with this (a few years late!), and I'm afraid I was really disappointed. No distinction between traditional, Victorian, Revival-era and contemporary songs; they were all Sea Songs, they were all sung by good honest seafaring folk, probably, some of the time, and they were all lovely. I don't expect every arts documentary to be Kenneth Clark's Civilisation, but this just struck me as muddleheaded and superficial. Gareth Malone was engaging, though, and there was some great singing along the way.


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Subject: RE: BBC 4 Sea songs and Shanties
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Dec 17 - 04:13 AM

if there was good singing and the programme promoted trad songs amongst other material that has to be good


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