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  • Drunken Sailor

    Sue Rogers posted on January 19, 2013 14:16

    Download the Lyrics and Chords

    "Drunken Sailor" is a sea shanty, also known as "What Shall We Do with a/the Drunken Sailor?"

    The shanty was sung to accompany certain work tasks aboard sailing ships, especially those that required a bright walking pace. It is believed to originate in the early 19th century or before, during a period when ships' crews, especially those of military vessels, were sufficiently large to permit hauling a rope whilst simply marching along the deck. With the advent of merchant packet and clipper ships and their smaller crews, which required different working methods, use of the shanty appears to have declined or shifted to other, minor tasks.

    "Drunken Sailor" was revived as a popular song among non-sailors in the 20th century, and grew to become one of the best-known songs of the shanty repertoire among mainstream audiences. It has been performed and recorded by many musical artists and appeared in many popular media. The song is No. 322 in the Roud Folk Song Index.

    The first published description of the shanty is found in an account of an 1839 whaling voyage out of New London, Connecticut to the Pacific Ocean. It was used as an example of a song that was, "performed with very good effect when there is a long line of men hauling together".

    ****REFORMATTED JANUARY 2019 - SR****

    A video for this song:

    Posted in: Individual Songs, March 2013 Celtic influences, January 2014 - Old and New BUG Event Songs, March 2014 - Kitchen Party, Celtic, East Coast, May 2014 - Cruise songs, March 2015, March 2016 Kitchen Party, January 2017 - BUG Event songs, BUG Hooley March 2017, January 2018 - BUG Event Songs, Jan 2019, March 2019, March 2020 (0 Comments)


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