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about

Shanties on a Rock 'n' Rolling Sea
Traditional sea shanties share a number of qualities with rock and roll -- driving rhythms, catchy, memorable choruses. Sing along!

credits

released 04 March 2013
Felicia Dale: hurdy-gurdy, fiddle, whistle, vocals
William Pint: guitar, octave mandolin, vocals
Dan Mohler: bass guitars, background vocals
T.J. Morris: drums, background vocals
Jay Kenney: keyboards, special effects, background vocals
Patrick Strole: electric guitar, percussion
Tania Opland: fiddle, background vocals
Sue Tinney: harmony vocals
Produced by Patrick Strole
Engineered and recorded by Jay Kenney, Audio Logic Studios, Seattle
Mastered by John McCaig, panicStudios

Thanks to Chris Bingham and the Bone Poets Orchestra

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Track Name: The Brigantine
The Brigantine
Janie Meneely

Ease ’er down, two points off the starboard bow
See her topsails pulling as she’s closing from the west
Dark as tar, let’s pray she’s just some fishing scow
A night like this could sprout a few more hairs upon your chest
It’s all hands on deck, now, ready with the running gear
We’ll bring our head around and we’ll damn well try to run
Friend or foe, she’s got no reason being here
Cutting cross our bow like some hellion on the run

Steady boys, I can’t exactly make her out
Looks to be a brigantine, I think I see her spars
Lively now, we may just have to come about
I wish to Hell they’d show a light and tell us who they are
She’s got her royals flying with the wind right off her quarterdeck
Here we’re barely making way with zephyrs from the north
For all the years we’ve been at sea—or been around the water, heck
I think we’re seeing something we ain’t never seen before

The old timers tell us all about the spectre ships they’ve seen
We just sit and listen and we hide our guffaws in our sleeves
Tonight might make us wonder just what it is we do believe

Can you see? There’s someone standing at the wheel
Looks to be the starlight reflecting from his eyes
Big as life—and laughing like he’s fit to kill
Did anybody notice? There ain’t no stars tonight
She’s got her royals flying with the wind right off her quarterdeck
Here we’re barely making way with zephyrs to the north
For all the years we’ve been at sea—or been around the water, heck
I think we’re seeing something we ain’t never seen before

Watch her go--did she even see us here?
Prowling through the darkness like some demon on the outs
Leave her go. Let’s set our course for outta here
I’d just as soon not hang around in case she comes about

It’s all hands on deck, now, ready with the running gear
We’ll bring her head around and we’ll damn well try to run
Friend or foe, she’s got no reason being here
Cutting cross our bow like some hellion on the run

The old timers tell us all about the spectre ships they’ve seen
We just sit and listen and we hide our guffaws in our sleeves
Tonight might make us wonder just what it is we do believe
Track Name: Shanghai Passage
From the poem by C. Fox Smith

"Shanghai" Brown, "Shanghai" Brown!

The Skipper of the Harvest Moon is rampin' round the town

Looking for some sailormen to beg or steal or borrow-

Can't get a crew an' he wants to sail tomorrow!'
'
Prime seamen's very scarce just now- but where's his money down,

An I'll see what I can do for him', says "Shanghai" Brown

"Shanghai" Brown, "Shanghai" Brown,

He's sent his touts an' runners out all around the town;

He's raked in men both high and low, he's got both black and white;

He's got the Lauderdale's port watch that only berthed last night;

He's got a brace of farmhands with the hayseeds in their hair;

He's got a bridegroom and best man, -- what does "Shanghai" care?

An' he's shipped 'em in the Harvest Moon, the toughest packet goin',
That never gets a sailor man to sign aboard her, knowin',

With a hardcase drivin' skipper, an a bull-voiced bucko mate,

By the Shanghai Passage from the Golden Gate

They'll be wonderin' in the mornin' what it was they drank last night;
They'll be wonderin' what hit 'em if they show an ounce of fight;

They'll be scoffin' seaboot duff, they'll be suppin' handspike gruel,

An' dodgin' the belayin'-pins, and cursin' Shanghai cruel;



But there's one won't wake or wonder, nor scoff no grub at all,

Nor drag his achin' bones along to tally on the fall'

Nor jump to please the toughest mate New England ever bred,

Won’t stand no trick, nor lookout - --- why? Because he's dead!

"Shanghai" Brown, "Shanghai" Brown!

He's took an' shipped a corpse away, has "Shanghai" Brown,

"Shanghai" Brown, "Shanghai" Brown!

The Skipper of the Harvest Moon was rampin' round the town

He couldn’t get a crew and he had to sail today

Shanghai knew a desperate man would pay

Prime seamen's very scarce these days!', says "Shanghai" Brown,

So he took an' shipped a corpse away, has "Shanghai" Brown,

By the Shanghai Passage, outer 'Frisco Town!
Track Name: Low Lands
Our packet is the Island Lass
Lowlands, lowlands, lowlands, low
There’s a laddie howlin’ at the main topmast Lowlands…
It’s a bully ship and a bully crew Lowlands…
And we’re the gang for to kick ‘er through

Our skipper hails from Barbados
Lowlands, lowlands, lowlands, low
He’s got the name Old Hammertoes Lowlands…
He feeds us bread as hard as brass Lowlands…
Our meat’s as salt as Lot’s wife’s ass
Lowlands, lowlands, lowlands, low

There’s a monkey rigged in sailor’s clothes
Lowlands, lowlands, lowlands, low
Where he got them from God only knows Lowlands…
Round Cape Stiff we’re bound to go Lowlands…
Round Cape Horn through the ice and snow
Lowlands, lowlands, lowlands, low

We’ll haul her high and let her dry
Lowlands, lowlands, lowlands, low
We’ll trice her up into the sky Lowlands…
It’s up aloft this yard must go Lowlands…
Up aloft from down below Lowlands…

Thought I heard the old man say…
Another pull and then belay…
Lowlands me boys and up she goes…
Get changed, m boys,to your shore goin’ clothes Lowlands…
Track Name: High Ground
High Ground
Brian Bedford

Bad Water flowing -- big river growing
everyone's going to High Ground
Bad river racing -- white water chasing
time to be facing High Ground

Bad weather coming--big river humming
everyone's running to High Ground
Black shrouds are shedding---deep water spreading
everyone's heading for High Ground

Rain Rain go away...

Bad winds are waking--Big storms are breaking
everyone's taking the High Ground
Bad times arriving--Deep water diving
everyone's driving to High Ground

Storm clouds are growing ---Flash lightning glowing
everyone's going to High Ground
Dark thoughts are weaving--Strange thoughts of grieving
everyone's leaving for High Ground

Rain Rain go away...

Bad River flowing--big river growing
everyone's going to High Ground
Bad river racing--white water chasing
time to be facing High Ground