Seamen's Songs and Shanties

Sea Shanties

A sea shanty, chantey, or chanty is a type of work song that was once commonly sung to accompany labor on board large merchant sailing vessels. The term shanty most accurately refers to a specific style of work song belonging to this historical repertoire. However, in recent, popular usage, the scope of its definition is sometimes expanded to admit a wider range of repertoire and characteristics, or to refer to a “maritime work song” in general.

The following list below is an anthology of sea shanties that were written for the Yorkshire area.


Seamen's Songs and Shanties > List of Current Documents:

1. A Drama of the Sea
2. A Pirate Lassie Was My Love
3. Fair Stood The Wind
4. Leave Her Johnny/Sally Brown/South Australia (Sheet Music)
5. Resort Songs (1869 - 1892)
6. Robin Hood Turned Fisherman
7. Scarborough ('About a Month or So Ago ...')
8. Scarborough Sands
9. Sea Songs and Shanties
10. Songs of Scarborough ('At St. Nicholas Street Corner' & 'Dawn in Scarborough's Lanes')
11. St. Mary's Bells
12. The Gansey (including Email from Tony Morris detailing his recording of 'The Gansey')
13. The Sailor's Alphabet
14. The Sailor's Alphabet (alternate)
15. The Scarborough Street Cries
16. When Lamps Are Lighted
17. Yorkshire Folklore

 

Fishermen's songs

In May 1917 a trawler was attacked by a German U boat, the crew escaped in a small coble and sang 'sailing home' as well as a mixture of hymns and sacred songs.  words are 'o'er life's wild sea all trustingly, with dauntless hearts we roam, our lord shall save from wind and wave, we're sailing, sailing home'.


Chorus - sailing home, sailing home, over the ocean deep and wide, and o'er and o'er the stormy tide, we're sailing home, sailing home, and Jesus shall our pilot be, we're sailing home.


The harbour light is gleaming bright, across the rolling foam, no storm we fear - the haven's near, we're sailing, sailing home.


Tho's tempests sweep across the deep, and fiercest gales should come, god's loving care is everywhere, we're sailing, sailing home.

Elsie Duncan Yale.


Another was 'pull for the shore' by P.P.Bliss - found in Sankey and Moody collection of sacred songs, solo number 1063.


Light in the darkness, sailor day is at hand, see o'er the foaming billows fair haven's land, drear was the voyage sailor, now almost o'er, safe within the lifeboat sailor - pull for the shore.


Chorus - Pull for the shore sailor, pull for the shore. Heed not the rolling waves, but bend to the oar, safe in the lifeboat sailor, cling to self no more, leave the poor stranded wreck and pull for the shore.


Trust in the lifeboat sailor, all else will fail, stronger the surges dash and fiercer the gale, heed not the stormy winds, though loudly they roar, watch the bright morning star and pull for the shore.


Bright gleams the morning sailor, uplift the eye, clouds and darkness disappearing, glory is nigh. Safe in the lifeboat sailor, sing ever more, glory, glory hallelujah pull for the shore

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