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Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers

muppitz 06 Oct 04 - 09:10 AM
GUEST,MMario 06 Oct 04 - 09:14 AM
GUEST 06 Oct 04 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 06 Oct 04 - 10:15 AM
Skipjack K8 06 Oct 04 - 10:43 AM
Dave Hanson 06 Oct 04 - 10:55 AM
GUEST,MMario 06 Oct 04 - 10:58 AM
Bernard 06 Oct 04 - 11:08 AM
Bernard 06 Oct 04 - 11:12 AM
Turlough 06 Oct 04 - 11:26 AM
Jeri 06 Oct 04 - 11:35 AM
Paco Rabanne 06 Oct 04 - 11:42 AM
Keith A of Hertford 06 Oct 04 - 12:14 PM
Bernard 06 Oct 04 - 02:38 PM
Juan P-B 06 Oct 04 - 03:28 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 06 Oct 04 - 04:25 PM
Hawker 06 Oct 04 - 04:46 PM
beetle cat 06 Oct 04 - 04:57 PM
Bernard 06 Oct 04 - 07:40 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 06 Oct 04 - 08:38 PM
Mark Cohen 07 Oct 04 - 03:04 AM
Gurney 07 Oct 04 - 03:34 AM
Dave Hanson 07 Oct 04 - 04:02 AM
muppitz 07 Oct 04 - 08:52 AM
Charley Noble 07 Oct 04 - 09:11 AM
LynnT 07 Oct 04 - 09:38 AM
Snuffy 07 Oct 04 - 09:55 AM
Charley Noble 07 Oct 04 - 04:52 PM
GUEST, Cockney Jack 07 Oct 04 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,Russ 07 Oct 04 - 07:39 PM
Dave Hanson 08 Oct 04 - 05:02 AM
Juan P-B 08 Oct 04 - 11:43 AM
Dave Hanson 09 Oct 04 - 04:14 AM
Bat Goddess 09 Oct 04 - 03:35 PM
Charley Noble 10 Oct 04 - 11:12 AM
GUEST 10 Oct 04 - 12:52 PM
GUEST,Barry Finn 12 Oct 04 - 11:03 PM
curmudgeon 13 Oct 04 - 08:09 AM
Dave Hanson 13 Oct 04 - 08:55 AM
Dave Bryant 13 Oct 04 - 10:45 AM
Turlough 13 Oct 04 - 12:46 PM
Herga Kitty 13 Oct 04 - 06:02 PM
Mark Cohen 14 Oct 04 - 02:41 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: muppitz
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 09:10 AM

Anyone know any good shanties for women, I like going to Shanty sessions but when it comes to me singing I end up falling back on choral sea songs, it would be nice to be an "All rounder" as it were!
Any suggestions?

Thanks
Muppitz x


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 09:14 AM

check the JOhnson girls' site.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 09:56 AM

I like John Dead, however it is VERY repetitive. Essiquebo River is another good one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 10:15 AM

Shanties were - so we are told, improvised, so you might like to take a well known tune and chorus and create your own verses.

About thirty some years ago when I was sailing around in a fog in the Solent with the participants in the Tall Ships race appearing heart joltingly close and wishing for a radar reflector that was not sitting under the stairs back at the flat, I distracted myself with the creation of an entire shanty relating the shanghiying of a sturdy country lass from a canal/coasting boat.

The only part of it I can remember was the offer to embroider a tattoo onto the mate.

I sang it acouple of times, but then moved about as far inland as possible - Market Harbourough, though it does have a canal it is a dead end and so there is not much traffic. In fact anyone with any sense left last century, that and the output of lead from the Caxton movable type works explains a lot.

It was actually quite a good shanty and it made people laugh as well.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 10:43 AM

My dear friend Oaklet is working on a couple of post-modernist shanties, where the wind blew from behind and everyone got home in time for tea, and a double-entry book-keeping shanty. I'm sure he could create an accessorizing shoe shopping shanty.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 10:55 AM

Oxymoron alert, WOMEN singing Shanties ??????

eric


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 10:58 AM

eric - considering the women I know who sing shanties - I would suggest you retract the remark.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 11:08 AM

'Lowlands' should be a good one - there's very little needs changing, and the sense wouldn't be messed up.

Archie Tawney (he has a famous brother!) sings what he describes as the 'female version' of the song, the words of which are somewhat different from the 'normal' version, but I can't recall it just now! Alzheimers, y'see... ;o)

I could ring him up and ask him for the words if you like?

'Sally Racket should work well', and 'Haul Away Joe'... I don't think they could be interpreted as gender-specific!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 11:12 AM

It's in DigiTrad: Lowlands - 'dead sailor' version...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Turlough
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 11:26 AM

Muppitz,

What about Triona Ni Dhomhnaill's "When I was a Fair Maid" a.k.a. "The Fair Maid". Maybe it's not really a shanty but more of a "sea song" (I've been frequently told that there is a significant difference), but still it's a great song. You can find it here in the forum.

Oh, and Cathy Jordan (from Dervish) did an excellent version of the song on Dervish' cd "Harmony Hill".

T.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 11:35 AM

As to women singing shanties (because I do):

1. Traditionally, shanties were not sung off of a ship. They're work songs. Singing them in a pub isn't traditional.

2. If you're singing caucasian shanties, they were likely not sung in harmony.

3. There were probably quite a few tone-deaf sailors joining in. Being on pitch is not traditional.

4. It isn't traditional to learn shanties from a book or a recording or a guy at the pub. You must learn them from a shanty singer, on a ship.

5. If there were female cabin boys, female ramblin' sailors and even female captains, why not female shanty men? A higher voice would carry better and cut through noise, and shantymen didn't have to heave or haul, just sing. Just maybe there needs to be a song about one...

So basically, I'm not any less traditional than you, unless you're on a sailing ship, singing in unison and somewhat off-key to do a traditional ship-board job, and you learned the shanty from someone else singing under the same circumstances. It probably has to be sometime in the early part of the previous century or before, too.

As to good shanties for women, find ones you like and sing 'em loud. If people get offended, they don't have to join in. There's always "Tommy's Gone to Hilo" ("My Tommy's gone, what shall I do?") which always seemed a bit affectionate for a big, hairy, macho sailor.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 11:42 AM

Well said Eric!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 12:14 PM

Shallow Brown, because like Lowlands, it is gentle and thoughtful rather than heaving and hauling bully boys.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 02:38 PM

The Maid On The Shore is a good one - not a shanty, but fits into a shanty sing very well. Perfect for a woman to sing, because the maid gets the better of the sailors!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Juan P-B
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 03:28 PM

Try Lester Simpson's "Polly On The Shore"

A stunning story song which is totally gender friendly

Chorus:
You may think that she's your Polly on the shore
She'll be your mother or your sister or your whore
She'll be waving 'til your safely out of view
Then she's looking for another sailor, gullible as you!

Fabulous when 'belted out' as a loud shanty

Cheers
JP-B


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 04:25 PM

Seems to me that there was a thread on the subject from a couple of years back.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Hawker
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 04:46 PM

I' with Mmario
Having seen the Johnson girls live a couple of times, any shanty will be OK!
Cheers, Lucy
Johnson girls are mighty fine girls.........


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: beetle cat
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 04:57 PM

shallow brown.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 07:40 PM

Deep Purple...! ;o)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 08:38 PM

I used Haul em away for the for's'l and Cheerly Man for the main - OK it was a little yacht and just me hauling - but it helped to keep a rhythm and not start too fast and run out of breath before finishing the job.

'We'll pay Paddy Doyle for his BOOTS'is a useful bouncing cars out of the way in a pub car park in Portsmouth shanty - there is always someone willing to block everyone else in, you just have to build a wall around a courtyard and put pub car park on a notice and they park and leave. Done on pay day Thursdays the shifting power of a few assorted matelot is quite frightening.

Having used shanties a)at sea b)when hoisting sails and c)to coordinate sailors I only really need to sit on the capstan playing the fiddle for hoisting the anchor to have run the whole gammaut of shantimandom.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 03:04 AM

Some of the best women shanty singers from the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, B.C.) formed a group called "St. Elmo's Choir" in the early 90's. I think it started out as a "Folklife Band." They were: Mariide Widman, Mary Benson, Chris Roe, Trapper Graves, Maureen Campbell, Pat Thompson, and Andrea Aldridge. They recorded two albums, "Syrens" and "White Stocking Day," the first of which I have. The traditional shanties on that record were:

Johnny Come Down to Hilo
Essequibo River
Sally Racket
Shallow Brown
Let the Bulgine Run
Flash Company
Bold Benjamin
Johnson Gals
Davy Lauston

Aloha,
Mark

I just did a search on St. Elmo's choir and found a "pirates" website frequented by Trapper Graves, who says the band has changed some and is now called Broadside.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Gurney
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 03:34 AM

Shanties were usually sung in a high pitched voice anyway, that is, according to Stan Hugill.

Jeri, sailors were ALWAYS in pitch. Thats why they called them tarry sailors.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 04:02 AM

SALLY RACKET???? great song, the most obscene shanty in my extensive collection, very suitable for women singers.

eric


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: muppitz
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 08:52 AM

Thanks all, for the suggestions!
Maybe next year I will be able to enter the Shanty Competition at Bromyard, Jim Mageean is always disappointed when I don't!

Muppitz x


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 09:11 AM

"Roll the Old Chariot" is always a good one for improvising, and it's usually a confidence builder for whoever leads it. People always love to sing along with it.

You might look over some of the sea poems by Cecily Fox Smith that have been recently arranged for singing that are posted here on a C. Fox Smith thread. She certainly got the sailor language down and probably had a great time singing some of the traditional sea shanties.

Good luck!
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: LynnT
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 09:38 AM

A gal named Janie Meneely of Eastport MD near Annapolis, the daughter of a local waterman, is writing wonderful modern-day shanties, several from the lady's point of view. Pyrates Royale has recorded her "Twiddles" -- about the seaport women who have a sailor on every ship. She sang at this year's Smithsonian FolkLife Festival on the Mall.

Here's her website:

Janie Meneely

Lynn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Snuffy
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 09:55 AM

CHILDBIRTH SHANTY

The Ranting Sleazos did a TESCO SHANTY

Mr Red has written a KNITTING SHANTY


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Charley Noble
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 04:52 PM

And you can always try "Wake Up, Susianna," one of them sailortown pierhead leap songs.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: GUEST, Cockney Jack
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 07:20 PM

How about "Blow the Man Down"?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 07:39 PM

No one has asked the question that popped into my head when I first saw this thread.

What would make a shanty NOT suitable for female singers?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 05:02 AM

Gardening shanty, ' Blood Red Roses '
sewing shanty, ' General Taylor '

eric


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Juan P-B
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 11:43 AM

Nice one from 'eric the red'

"sewing shanty, ' General Taylor '..... That WOULD be done by a SINGER!!

JP-B


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 09 Oct 04 - 04:14 AM

Not me, Sid Kipper actually.

eric


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 09 Oct 04 - 03:35 PM

I've never let gender getting in the way of a good song (although some have raised eyebrows on hearing me sing "My wife, she do disturb me when I'm taking my ease" verse from "Fathom the Bowl."

It's not a shanty, but I also like "Home, Dearie, Home" (female version of "Home, Boys, Home") -- especially the line "I jumped right in beside him to keep myself warm / Thinking that a sailor wouldn't do me any harm."

"Nine Times a Night" (which I got from a recording by Frankie Armstrong) is another good one. How about "Short Jacket and White Trousers"? Or "The Music Played So Grand" (maritime version of "The Female Drummer").

Lynn Noel has written a lovely tongue-in-cheek modern shanty "Million Dollar Line/Haul On the Sequins" --

    "So haul on your sequins
                 We're cruisin' with the tide
                   It's a damn tough life for a rich man's wife
                   On the Million Dollar Line."

Cindy Kallet has written a couple delightful child-rearing "shanties" based on traditional songs -- "The Royal Bloke" and "I Dread Not" -- on her CD "Leave the Cake in the Mailbox."

Personally, I'd not worry too much about singing "male" lyrics -- just sing!

Linn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Oct 04 - 11:12 AM

Of course most of the men and women who lead sea shanties, including myself, tend to be armchair sailors rather than old shellbacks. There do exist a few experienced deep-water sailors who do sing these songs but they are pretty rare.

But if you love this kind of singing do the best you can with what you have. Do listen to what the more experienced singers are doing, and read as much as you can from the early collectors as others have suggested.

If you prefer a more contemporary take on how to sing these songs, check out William Pint and Falecia Date of Seattle or Spinnacker in Portland-West.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Oct 04 - 12:52 PM

Maddy Prior and Eliza Carthy do a fine version of "Blow the Man Down" on a CD, so this most macho of sea shanties is just as suitable for the female sex, I think.

Some mentioned a "Double Entry Book Keeping" shanty. Mony Python have already done this with "The Accountancy Shanty".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: GUEST,Barry Finn
Date: 12 Oct 04 - 11:03 PM

Let's knock the shit off. Anything suitable for a male to sing is just as suitable for a female.
Hi Jeri, in the Report of Commissioner of Fish & Fisheries covering the Northeast coast of the US from NY to Maine dating from 1784 to 1876 concerning the Whaling industry the female whaler is well documented as being undetected even after a few voyages to the whaling grounds with the same crew aboard the same ship. Did she sing along side of here male counterparts? Women have been working to work songs as long as men. There are quite a few women I'd rather be singing shanties with than a good number of so called shantymen.   
Barry Finn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: curmudgeon
Date: 13 Oct 04 - 08:09 AM

Welcome back, Barry. Will we see you this Saturday, or are you doing the Getaway?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 13 Oct 04 - 08:55 AM

I generally agree that what a man can sing a woman can do as well, it's just things like Kate Rusby making a twee love song out of a shanty that annoys me. If someone took a beautiful love song or any quiet thoughtful song ie. ' There Were Roses ' and turned it into a rip roaring shanty, people would be up in arms.

Kate Rusby ruined ' Wild Goose Flying '

eric


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 13 Oct 04 - 10:45 AM

Not a shantie, but fits into most sea-song sessions, Kipling's "The Liner She's a Lady" - not so much about ships as a Portsmouth "Purveyor of Horizontal Refreshment". Pete Bellamy set it to music and so have I. You can find the words and my tune here.

If anyone wants a proper (ie non MIDITXT) MIDI file or a score in PDF format, PM me with an e-mail address.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Turlough
Date: 13 Oct 04 - 12:46 PM

"it's just things like Kate Rusby making a twee love song out of a shanty that annoys me"

Hm, I know it's not fashionable to think positively of Rusby nowadays, but I have to say that I really like what she has done with "The Wild Goose". I like the process of transformation and adaptation in folk music. I think that's what keeps it alive... Not that I ALWAYS like all the transformations and adaptation, mind you!

T.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 13 Oct 04 - 06:02 PM

Muppitz - for the last 3 years at Whitby, I've had to resort to writing a shanty for Jim Mageean's bad shirts and shanties session on Wednesday, in case someone else sang one of the few shanties I sing, before the singing got round to me. This one comes from the year that Theresa won the Saltburn shanty singing competition.....

SING 'EM LOUD - SHANTY SESSION PLAN B* (Kitty Vernon 22 August 2001)

I'm feeling sad and so forlorn
Sing 'em loud
Can't help the gender I was born
Sing 'em loud

We weedy women high and shrill
Sing 'em loud
Can't compete with Jim or Bill
Sing 'em loud

While they are belting out each word
Sing 'em loud
We women struggle to be heard
Sing 'em loud

But there is one who breaks the rule she
Sings 'em loud
Her name it is Theresa Tooley, she
Sings 'em loud


TUNE: Bring 'em down

*Plan A was for all the women singers (except Theresa Tooley) to sit near where Jim Mageean was expected to start the singing, so their repertoire of shanties wouldn't have been exhausted by the time the singing reached them. Plan B was the result of someone suggesting that by day 4 of his maritime singarounds Jim might have decided to send the singing round in the other direction….

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Suitable shanties for female singers
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 02:41 AM

Well, there's always the Bowling Shanty...

Aloha,
Mark

PS, I never noticed that the DT gives the first line of the chorus as "Roll down the alleyway." It should, of course, be "Way down the alleyway." Even we parodists have our scruples.


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