Friday, August 31, 2012

Songbook, Song Circles and Wooden Boat Festival

Ahoy Mateys,

Lots of great news to share with you today with the Wooden Boat Festival coming up next week with our new book of maritime lyrics available in the Chandlery at a special discount from September 7 thru Oct 4!

September Song Circles and Our Long-awaited Sing Shanties Songbook

A friendly reminder that we will not be having our monthly, first Thursday, Sing Shanties Song Circle in September, during the week of the Wooden Boat Festival. Instead, we encourage everyone to support and attend one or both of the two, free and fun song circles held annually during the WBF on both Friday and Saturday nights, see more information below.

We've all very much appreciated having multiple copies of several of Steve Lewis' notebooks to circulate amongst our song circle to sing from these past months, filled with many of his favorite shanties and maritime song lyrics, but now we will quite literally "be on the same page" - singing from one songbook with a collection of over 100 song lyrics.

The Sing Shanties Songbook Committee is very pleased and excited to announce that the songbook our committee has been working on this past year Sing Shanties & Songs About the Sea - Special Expanded Collection of Stephen Gottlieb Lewis will be available during this year's 36th Annual Wooden Boat Festival at the Northwest Maritime Center Chandlery and before, during intermission and after the two free song circles hosted by Northwest Seaport shantyman Wayne Palsson, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m. in the Marina Room at Port Hudson. They are known to be well-attended musical gatherings.

Here are the links for more information and a printable handbill with a special 15% discount valid for a limited time only. After our October 4 Sing Shanties Song Circle with Tugboat Bromberg, the Sing Shanties songbook can be purchased for the regular retail price of $11.95 + tax. To receive the 15% discount through October 4, print out the handbill with coupon and present it to the cashiers either at the Chandlery or at the table set up at the Marina Room where the WBF Song Circles are hosted.

Note: (1) Thank you to Port Townsend's Friends of the Arts for funding our cultural maritime project to make this special collection of maritime song lyrics available to everyone during our song circles. (2) For those who are unable to or prefer not to buy a songbook, our Sing Shanties Songbook Committee will have songbooks to loan out during both WBF song circles and at our own monthly song circles. (3) A songbook has also been donated to each of our local, public and maritime libraries. The Jefferson County Historical Society and both Jefferson County high schools will each receive a copy for their library as well.

After Oct 4, songbooks can also be purchased online using PayPal. Songbooks are also available wholesale to retailers with a UBI number. We appreciate your financial support by buying one or more songbooks and participating at song circles to revive and keep alive the tradition of maritime music and the working songs of the sailor. 
Contest to Win a Songbook

Tell us, What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor? 

Submit your original, family-friendly response(s) to this popular song's question by emailing them to singshanties(at)gmail(dot)com, to be eligible to win a Sing Shanties songbook. You have as many chances to win as the number of entries you submit. Deadline is October 3. Type "Drunken Sailor" in the subject line with one or more entries in the body of your email along with your Name and Phone Number. Winner's name will be drawn and announced at our October 4 Song Circle.

For details click here.

Tune in to KPTZ 91.9FM

If you have your car, business or home radio tuned to our local community radio station KPTZ 91.9FM, tune in to Phil Andrus' show Tossed Salad at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, September 7 during the Wooden Boat Festival. Broadcast live from the Station, Phil will be talking with shanty singers Wayne Palsson, Helen Gilbert, Tugboat Bromberg, Mark Olson and Mike James about maritime music with an opportunity to sing some of their favorite shanties, and chat with Lee Erickson about the release of our songbook. You can also stream KPTZ ( live from your computer.

Please share this post with other shanty enthusiasts far and wide.

Be sure to LIKE us on Facebook and join us on Twitter (right sidebar links) to stay connected. 

Keep on Singin' Shanties!

Friday, August 24, 2012

15% Discount on New Songbook for Shanty Enthusiasts thru 10/04/12

Ahoy, mateys! Get your 15% off coupon to purchase your very own copy of our newly published Sing Shanties & Songs About the Sea songbook, valid through October 4th at the Northwest Maritime Center and at our October 4th Sing Shanties Song Circle at the Northwest Maritime Center (6:00 p.m.). 

This handbill, with our special offer, is available to save as a file on your computer and print here at, and available to pick up at the Port Townsend's Wooden Boat Festival and the NWMC Chandlery in Port Townsend (8/26/12-10/04/12). Our songbook will be available to purchase online at the retail price of $11.95 with PayPal after October 4th (applicable tax, shipping and handling not included). If you see this announcement on our site, but live out of area, and wish to purchase a copy at the introductory discounted price thru 10/04/12, send us an email at "singshanties (at) gmail (dot) com" with "Limited Offer" in the subject line before October 4th.

Don't forget to enter our What Do We Do with a Drunken Sailor contest to win a FREE copy of our songbook!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor - win a songbook!

Calling all shanty enthusiasts to enter our contest to win a copy of our new songbook Sing Shanties and Songs About the Sea - Special Expanded Collection of Stephen Gottlieb Lewis!

On page 48 of our Sing Shanties and Songs About the Sea songbook are the most traditional lyrics and common verses sung to Drunken Sailor, as follows:

What shall we do with a drunken sailor (3x)

*Early in the morning

Weigh heigh and up she rises
Patent blocks o' diff'rent sizes
Weigh heigh and up she rises
Early in the morning

Put him in the longboat 'til he's sober (3x)*

Put him in the scuppers with the hose pipe on him (3x)*

Pull out the plug and wet him all over (3x)*

Heave him by the leg in a runnin' bowline (3x)*

Put him in bed with the captain's daughter (3x)*

Make him scrub the bilge with a sawed-off toothbrush (3x)*

Shave his belly with a rusty razor (3x)*


The number of original verses you submit will be how many times your name is entered in the contest. Email your entries to: singshanties(at) Put "Drunken Sailor" in the subject line. Along with your original verse(s), include your name and phone number. 

If you win, but are not present at our October 4 Sea Shanty Song Circle & Sing-Along, we will notify you by phone. The drawing for the winner will take place at our October 4 song circle at the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend (6:00-8:30 p.m.) If the winner is present, he or she is invited to lead Drunken Sailor, featuring your original verse(s). A sheet with all the original verses submitted for the contest will be handed out during the October Sea Shanty Song Circle & Sing-Along for a rousing sing of Drunken Sailor with additional new verse options. 

Deadline: Wednesday, October 3.

[Note: the verses you submit must not contain any curse words, inappropriate language or sexually explicit content, as our song circles are family-friendly. Any verses submitted with such content will be disallowed.]

Click here to hear the tune to Drunken Sailor.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sing Shanties & Songs About the Sea

Sing Shanties is pleased to announce the publication of Sing Shanties & Songs About the Sea. First available for purchase at the 36th Annual Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend - September 7-9, 2012. This special collection, compiled by the Sing Shanties songbook committee, has over one hundred traditional and contemporary lyrics about songs of the sea and the working songs of the sailor. The songbook is dedicated to the memory of Pacific Northwest shantyman Steve Lewis (1941-2011). Sing Shanties & Songs About the Sea is a beautifully crafted 141-page collection in a spiral-bound 6”X9” formatted book, with a clear Mylar protective cover. The retail price is $11.95 + tax, but for a limited time only, the Chandlery is offering a 15% discount that is valid through October 4, 2012 with the coupon they will have on hand during and after the festival. If you are a member of the Northwest Maritime Center, the September newsletter will link a coupon you can print to redeem at the Chandlery. 

Sing Shanties & Songs About the Sea - Special Expanded Collection of Steven Gottlieb Lewis includes the Foreword by Jake Beattie (executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center & Wooden Boat Foundation), the Preface by Lee Erickson (founder of Sing Shanties and songbook project coordinator), an Introduction by Mike James Phimister (local musician and shantyman), Remembering Steve - a conversation with Deborah Gottlieb Lewis, tributes to Steve by Wayne Palsson (host of Northwest Seaport's Chantey Sing) and Vern Olsen (director of the Shifty Sailors), A Brief Port Townsend Maritime History lesson by Captain Norm Stevens (courtesy of the Jefferson County Historical Society), a familiar phrase index and glossary. 

Sing Shanties & Songs About the Sea will also be available for purchase on this site using PayPal after October 4th. Please check back to order online.

For new visitors to our site, Port Townsend’s Sing Shanties Sea Shanty Song Circle & Sing-Along, is our free, family-friendly, community gathering of shanty enthusiasts, which meets the first Thursday of each month, except in September*, from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at the Northwest Maritime Center. Check our Song Circle Calendar for updates. "Singin' is encouraged by knot required!"

*During the Wooden Boat Festival (September 7-9), circle up and sing history with Wayne Palsson, host of Northwest Seaport's monthly Chantey Sing in Seattle, on Friday and Saturday night. The sing takes place in the Marina Room at Point Hudson, starts at 8:00 p.m. and ends when the last singer warbles. This year's sing remembers Steve Lewis.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wooden Boat Festival Sea Chantey Song Circle

Reminder: In September, we will not be having our regularly scheduled, first Thursday of the month, Sing Shanties Song Circle at the Maritime Center. We encourage you to participate in one or both scheduled, Friday and Saturday at the WOODEN BOAT FESTIVAL, September 7 and 8. Held in the Marina Room at Point Hudson Marina at 8:00 p.m. Wayne Palsson is the presenter both nights. Free.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Asleep in the Deep

My mom knew the song that the elderly gentleman sang (the wonderful bass who said he had found it in his father's piano bench) at our August Song Circle. I recorded him and using what mom told me and what I recorded, reconstructed this to be the true song as it was sung:

Asleep in the Deep
Arthur J. Lamb

Stormy the night and the waves roll high,
Bravely the ship doth ride,
Hark! while the lighthouse bell's solemn cry,
Rings o'er the sullen tide.

There on the deck see two lovers stand,
Heart to heart beating, and hand to hand;
Tho' death be near, she knows no fear,
While at her side is one of all most dear.

Loudly the bell in the old tower rings,
Bidding us list to the warning it brings:
Sailor, take care! Sailor, take care!
Danger is near thee. Beware! Beware! 
Beware! Beware!

What of the storm when the night is o'er?
There is no trace or sign,
Save where the wreckage hath strewn the shore,
Peaceful the sun doth shine.

But when the wild, raging storm did cease,
Under the billows two hearts found peace,
No more to part, no more of pain,
The bell may now tell its warning in vain.

Loudly the bell in the old tower rings,
Bidding us list to the warning it brings:
Sailor, take care! Sailor, take care!
Danger is near thee. Beware! Beware!
Beware! Beware!

Many brave hearts are asleep in the deep,
   So beware! beware! 

Many brave hearts are asleep in the deep,
   So beware! beware!

Posted by Mark Olson
The Longwinded Shantyman

Friday, August 3, 2012

T'was a great night for singin'... and sailin'!

Little did I know, when I conservatively set out 40 chairs, that last night's Song Circle would have the second highest number of attendees since we started last January! Although one of the most spectacular summer evenings of the season with ample opportunities to enjoy other venues, including attending the Concert at the Dock next door and walking local beaches, seventy-five folks gathered in the Maritime Meeting Room to sing shanties along with the Shift Sailors from Whidbey Island. We had a number of first-time visitors hailing from Seattle, Portland, from the East Coast and Canada... who arrived by car and by boat.

Such a memorable and rousing sing-along to "What do we do with a Drunken Sailor", which was requested by a young boy who came with his father. And as we took turns going around the circle and singing, the beautiful Schooner Adventuress sailed back and forth in front of the Maritime Center on Admiralty Inlet, much to our delight.