Singing workshop

When the Earl of Chatham set sail from Deal in Kent in 1767 it was in anticipation of a journey of many months at sea. For the ship to arrive safely in Bombay, the crew would have to work in unison and harmony under the captain’s command. One way of encouraging the maximum response from the crew when the job of hauling and setting sails was to be undertaken, was with the use of song. The rhythm of the ‘shanty’ would ensure the combined strength of the men was used to maximum effect.

Lester Simpson, a singer and tall ships sailor of considerable experience undertook workshops with primary schools to give the children a glimpse into life on board an 18th vessel.

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Sea Shanties

RUNNING DOWN TO CUBA

Running down to Cuba with a load of sugar

Way me boys for Cuba

Make her run you limejuice squeezers

Running down to Cuba

Way me boys for Cuba, running down to Cuba,

Way me boys for Cuba, running down to Cuba,


Running down to Cuba with a press of sail

Flinging the water all over the rail


I’ve got a sister, she’s Nine feet tall,

She sleeps in the kitchen with her feet in the hall


I gotta gal her name is Jane

You can guess where she gives me a pain


Give me a gal can dance Fandango

She soft like a Melon and sweet as a mango


Load the sugar and home we’ll go

Mister mate he told me so


BLACKBIRD GET UP

Oh the blackbird get up     Eye ah

She break she tail     Eye ah

And the white bird get up     Eye ah

She do the same     Eye ah

Chorus

Sing oh my darling     Eye ah

Memolina     Eye ah

Sing oh my darling     Eye ah

Girl come go with me     Eye ah

-

Oh the white bird send up

She shake she tail

And the black bird send up

She do the same

-

Well the captain cry out

What nasty weather

And the front man cry out

What nasty weather

-

Wet messy wet

Soaking to the skin

Wet messy wet

When the rain come down

Repeat verses 1&2















Blackbird get up Trad

Oh the blackbird get up Eye ah

She break she tail Eye ah

And the white bird get up Eye ah

She do the same Eye ah

Chorus

Sing oh my darling Eye ah

Memolina Eye ah

Sing oh my darling Eye ah

Girl come go with me Eye ah

Oh the white bird send up

She shake she tail

And the black bird send up

She do the same

Well the captain cry out

What nasty weather

And the front man cry out

What nasty weather

Wet messy wet

Soaking to the skin

Wet messy wet

When the rain come down

Repeat verses 1&2