The following are liner notes for the CD 'Rolling down' and samples of each song can be heard by using the music player at the bottom of the page:
1. What Is A Shanty?
This is a tone poem, more or less, to give the listener an idea of what sea shanties are all about. It features Bruce reciting a quote, as he often does to open our shows. It closes with an old recording of sailors from long ago (...well, okay, actually it's us...)
2. South Australia
On June 28th, 2010, we brought recording gear to a little auditorium in the Germain Street Baptist Church in Saint John. There, we put on a show expressly for the purpose of recording live tracks for this CD. The anchor shanty South Australia, one of our favourites, was one of those songs. You can hear Gary taking the lead, with Rick on the bodhran.
3. Pay Me My Money Down
Also recorded at that show, Greg leads us in this work song originally sung by former-slave stevedores in the Georgia Islands.
4. Saute Dans Ta Barge
Written by Caraquet, New Brunswick, native Donat Lacroix, this song gives the wife's point of view of the week-long fishing trips made by her husband. In October 2010, the HMS Bounty visited St. Andrews, New Brunswick, and since we were entertaining at the event, we were granted permission to sing this song on deck! The very windy rendition can be seen on YouTube. This song (recorded in studio, not onboard ship) is led here by Paul-Emile.
This haunting capstan or windlass shanty that originated in the inland waters of the US South, Shenandoah has been performed by many groups over the years and is among the best-known shanties we do. Led here by Bob.
6. John Kanaka
This lively halyard shanty has its origins in the 19th-century whaling trade of the Pacific Ocean. "Kanaka" was a generic term for a Hawiian man, so it's thought that "John Kanaka" would have been used to refer to "that Hawaiian guy". This track was recorded live in the theatre of St. Stephen Middle School, New Brunswick, during a charity fundraiser. Led here by Greg.
7. Blood Red Roses
There is some dispute over the meaning of the title of this old and often sung halyard shanty. Some say it refers to the red uniform of British soldiers in the Napoleonic Wars while others argue it describes the bloody spout of a harpooned whale. Recorded at our live show at Germain St. Baptist and led by Dale.
8. Sam Hall
A song from the early 1700's about a bitterly unrepentant criminal, this would've been sung in the fo'c's'le as a forebitter during off-watch time. Gary leads the charge.
9. Marco Polo
This local favourite, by songwriter and musician Jim Stewart, chronicles the career of the fastest sailing ship of her time, the Saint-John-built Marco Polo. Bryce leads us from the Marsh Creek mud to the Roaring Forties and eventually to the waters off PEI .
10. Haul Away Joe
Originally sung during short-haul jobs, Haul Away Joe leaves lots of freedon for the shanty man to insert his own verses. Gary is singing the verses here, recorded in the Germain St. concert.
11. Paddy Doyle's Boots
No one today knows who Paddy Doyle was, but his name lives on in this shanty sung in small bursts, with only enough verses to get the work done. Here, recorded at the Germain St. concert, we've got a large sail to snub up, but we get 'er done eventually!
12. Marching Inland
Written by retired British submariner Tom Lewis, this fun song talks about knowing when it's time to call it quits from sailing! Cheerfully sung by Bruce and crew.
13. Bully In The Alley
This West Indian Halyard shanty is about "Shinbone Alley" in St. George's, Bermuda, which was outside a popular pub where sailors would get so drunk that they'd have to crawl back to their ship, often scraping their shins. No joke. Led here by Gary with Greg on 'shaker egg'.
14. Last Shanty
Tom Lewis wrote this song about the things that have changed over the years for sailors, and those that have not.
15. End Of The Watch
Another "tone poem"... we hear sailors onboard ship, then the bell signalling the end of the watch.