Fred Smith and The Spooky Men's Chorale
WINNER of the 2009 National Film & Sound Archive
Urban sea shanties first emerged in the late 19th Century as variations on the shanties sung by sailors since the time of Jason. The Industrial Revolution and more recent Information Age have not diminished man’s yearning for the open sea that finds voice in the sea shanty. The urban variation evolved to mitigate the embarrassment felt by sock-sandaled sea shanty singers sheepish for the schism between the nautical content of those shanties and their landlocked lives.
In exploring unwholesome themes through the narratives of misadventure so essential to male personal development, urban sea shanties offer morsels of wisdom concurrent with the pleasure intrinsic to contemplating scenarios one’s mother would rather one didn’t.
Of course, urban does not imply sedentary, and the urban sea shanties enclosed reflect the adventurous spirits of their collectors. Journey with us from the bars of Birmingham to the flooded streets of New Orleans, from the Mosques of Karachi to the Dapto Dog Track. And in their exploration of masculine misadventure note the suggestion that the intrepid and the entrapped are oft the same fellow, from which you may draw comfort from the inference that the couch you are sitting on now may be exactly the right place for you to be at this point in history, or at least as right as any other.
We hope that you enjoy this collection,
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