Liner Notes for "Don't Forget Your Old Shipmates"

Whiskey Johnny -- Andy
Before nuclear—before diesel—before coal—the great tall ships were propelled by the wind—but ran on alcohol.

Sailor’s Prayer -- Rennie
Tom Lewis’s shanty detailing how the hazards a sailor faced on land might be worse than those at sea.

Heart of Oak — John S.
This anthem from “This wonderful year” of 1759 shows that there was no lack of confidence on the part of the British Navy. It remains a standard in the navies of Albion and her seed.

Alabama John Cherokee – John L.
Not everyone took easily to being mistreated on sailing ships, and ghostly tales of haunted ships did not begin with Disney and Johnny Depp.

Sally Brown -- Fred
During a long voyage, a sailor’s thoughts turned inevitably to establishments he had visited while last ashore, and fantasies of what he would do next time.

Lindy Lowe -- Larry
This river song appeared in the novel Gideon’s Band –A Tale of the Mississippi by New Orleans author George Washington Cable in 1914.

Eternal Father Strong To Save -- All Hands
The official hymn of virtually all the navies of the English-speaking world. Text by William Whiting 1860, Music John B. Dykes, 1861.

Topman and the Afterguard -- Joe
Our version of this classic shanty was inspired by a version sung by shantyman Bob Walser at the Chicago Maritime Festival.

Don’t Forget Your Old Shipmates – Andy
The end of a long voyage is bittersweet—happy for a successful voyage, but sad for parting from your old comrades.

Auckland To The Bluff -- Rennie
Rudy Sunde, Captain of New Zealand's foremost shanty team, The Maritime Crew, penned this tale of a young sailor who experienced the seaman's life, then made other career choices.

Rosabella – John S.
If you’re going to sea, you want the best ship possible. The Rosabella comes highly recommended.

Cornish Leaving Shanty – John L.
Leaving, with its mixed emotions, is an inevitable part of a seafarer’s life.

Barrett’s Privateers – Fred
Stan Rogers’ great fictional tale of a Canadian privateer in the American Revolution which reminds us that promises made in war are frequently unkept.

Eddystone Light – Larry
The Eddystone Light is on a rock in the English Channel, about twelve miles off Plymouth. From this tale, we can surmise that it is no stranger to genetic anomalies and mythical creatures with attitude. This song was done by The Weavers, Burl Ives, The Brothers Four, and Peter, Paul and Mary during the Folk Scare of the ‘60’s. Larry has added some lyrics of his own, which proves that even a good thing can be improved.

Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal -- Rennie
Perhaps the best mule song ever, this song we all learned in elementary school was a popular sheet music title written by Thomas S. Allen in 1905. It evokes nostalgia for the 1825-1880 period before engines replaced mules as propulsion on the Erie Canal.

Bring ‘em Down -- Andy
This short-haul shanty was used to coordinate effort for jobs that required a mighty tug for a short distance, such as hauling up yards or tightening halyards or braces.

Dramamine – John S.
A “Heaving Shanty” by Talitha Mackenzie detailing the hazards of crewing on a tourist schooner.

Congo River -- Fred
Even after the slave trade was banned, trafficking in humans remained a lucrative trade carried on clandestinely by many ship owners. This is a tale of one such voyage.

The E-Ri-e was a’Rising -- Joe
This traditional song has been covered by The Weavers, Burl Ives, Bobby Darin, Roger McGuinn and others. Canal travel could be less exciting than whaling, but not without its challenges.

Tommy’s Gone to Hilo – Larry
Separation from your old pals was a constant reality for sailors in the age of sail, as it is for sailors today. The voyages are shorter, but “gone” is still the same.

The Bonny Ship The Diamond -- Rennie
Whaling crews were lured by the promise of quick riches (if they survived the voyage). Thus, returning sailors were much more popular with the bonny lassies than outbound sailors.