Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Sailor's Christmas

Sail on the horizons, gotta landfall rendezvous

Captain steers a well known course, he steers straight and true

As he trims the sheets, he sings a song he learned on boats and bars

Sailor spends his Christmas in a harbor 'neath the stars

He's traveled through the doldrums, typhoons and hurricanes

He's logged a million soggy miles with water on his brain

But Christmas is the season better suited for dry land

He'll tell some lies, meet some spies and dance barefoot in the sand

The sailor spends his Christmas in a harbor on the hook

Caye con les, no work today, let's shell the ol' log book

The waterfront is reveling, the season has begun

The sailor spends his Christmas in a harbor having fun

There's a party down at Le Selecte, music, rum and cheers

Faces in the shadows, God, I haven't seen for years

A mast and shroud fill with lights 'neath the waning of the moon

They're an airy celebration in the realm of King Neptune

The sailor spends his Christmas in a harbor on the hook

Caye con les, no work today, let's shell the ol' log book

The waterfront is reveling, the season has begun

The sailor spends his Christmas in a harbor having fun

Jesus was a fisherman who walked upon the sea

The North Pole is ocean's remote frozen balcony

The continents keep drifting but the children sing and play

'Cause nothing really matters, after all it's Christmas day

The sailor spends his Christmas in a harbour on the hook

Vaye con les, no work today, he read it in a book

The waterfront is reveling, the season has begun

A sailor spends his Christmas in a harbour having fun

A sailor spends his Christmas in a harbour having fun Havin' fun, havin' fun, havin' fun

Songwriters JIMMY BUFFETT Published by Lyrics © BUG MUSIC

Read more: Jimmy Buffett - A Sailor's Christmas Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Christmas Tree Ship

Sailing into Eternity

"One hundred years ago, Christmas trees were delivered from northern Wisconsin to cities throughout the state and Illinois by schooner. The schooner Rouse Simmons was loaded with 5,000 Christmas trees and bound for Chicago when she encountered a violent winter gale. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to withstand the waves, wind and ice and she sank off the coast of Two Rivers on November 22, 1912.

To commemorate the schooner, also known as the Christmas Tree Ship, the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and the Door County Maritime Museum are celebrating Christmas the entire year."

Yuletide Cargo

Visit the Wisconsin Maritime Museum for more information and schedule of events.

Christmas at Sea

All day we fought the tides between the North Head and the South
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, to 'scape the storm's wet mouth
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.

Thograinn Thograinn
Thograinn thograinn bhith dol dhachaidh
(I wish we were going home)
E ho ro e ho ro
Gu Sgoirebreac a chruidh chaisfhinn
(To Scorrybreck of the white-footed cattle)
E ho hi ri ill iu o
Ill iu o thograinn falbh
Gu Sgoirebreac a' chruidh chais-fhionn
(To Scorrybreck of the white-footed cattle)
E ho ro e ho ro
Ceud soraidh bhuam mar bu dual dhomh
(The first blessing from me, as is my right)

We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide-race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard:
We saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every 'longshore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it's just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessed Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard's was the house where I was born.

And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessed Christmas Day.

Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson / Music by Sting

Saturday, December 7, 2013

January 8 Song Circle Venue/Sponsor the PT Pizza Factory, hosted by Mike James

Tis the Season to Give Gifts - Last of our Sing Shanties & Songs About the Sea Songbooks Available !

Christmas is a great time to give our Sing Shanties & Songs About the Sea songbooks for gifts! We have 36 songbooks left in our retail inventory. If you live in the area, contact us at singshanties(at)gmail(dot)com to arrange local pick up and payment, or to have shipped. Price: $11.95 + 9% tax in the State of Washington + S/H $4.50.

Books also available in Port Townsend at the Northwest Maritime Center, Crossroads Music and Olympic Trading Post.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Greenland Whale Fisheries with Lewis Kane

November's Sing Shanties Song Circle was so much fun. Dan Roberts showed up to lead a rousing shanty sing with the other two members of The Whateverly Brothers, Matthew Moeller and Chris Glanister. Laura Martin brought a newcomer to our song circle - Lewis Kane, a traveling minstrel from Inverness, Scotland. What a delight to have Lewis with us for the evening. We hope he'll join us again, next time he visits Port Townsend!

Lewis posted a blog on his website about his time with us at our shanty sing on Friday, November 8th 2013:

"... The next day I went outside to find Dolly surrounded by the friendly neighbourhood deer. I then went off to find the local Coop for some groceries and also met mouth-organist, Roger from The Roadhouse the night before. After a few errands, I followed a tip I’d received and went back to the Coop to jam. I think the first time I’d jammed at a super market but it went down really well and I had loads of fun. I also met Laura who’d also been at The Roadhouse. She told me about a sea shanty song circle that was happening that night. So after more music and a bite to eat, we headed up to catch the song circle, hosted by Port Townsend favourites, The Whateverly Brothers.  
The Whateverly Brothers
It was such a good time and I won a draw for a free copy of the group’s songbook of maritime folk songs. I did a rendition of Greenland Whale Fisheries, which was a special moment for me in a night of great music and company. I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I actually pressed record for my turn at the circle so you can listen by clicking here
Afterwards I headed to the Boiler Room for their open mic night. A great comfy, accessible haven, mainly aimed at youth. The highlight was jamming Smells Like Teen Spirit with a local young guitarist. Then it was a late-night stroll down the town’s grand Victorian streets with Laura before sleeping in her vacant gypsy caravan."

Go to Lewis' website to follow his travel adventures, listen to his music and read the rest of his blog post Port Townsend.

Listen in as Lewis introduces himself to the group and leads a famous Irish tune "Greenland Whale Fisheries" with his accordion. The Whateverly Brothers, Mike James and the rest of us join in.