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ChrisJBrady 1920s Shanty Book Online - Proj. Gutenberg (13) 1920s Shanty Book - Proj. Gutenberg 02 Aug 12

The book intro. has:

'In speech, the old-time "shellback" was notoriously reticent almost inarticulate; but in song he found self-expression, and all the romance and poetry of the sea are breathed into his shanties, where simple childlike sentimentality alternates with the Rabelaisian humour of the grown man. Whatever landsmen may think about shanty words with their cheerful inconsequence, or light-hearted coarseness there can be no two opinions about the tunes, which, as folk-music, are a national asset.'

'I know, of course, that several shanty collections are in the market, but as a sailor I am bound to say that only one Capt WBWhall's 'Sea Songs, Ships, and Shanties' can be regarded as authoritative. Only a portion of Capt Whall's delightful book is devoted to shanties, of which he prints the melodies only (without accompaniment); and of these he does not profess to give more than those he himself learnt at sea. I am glad, therefore, to welcome Messrs Curwen's project of a wide and representative collection. Dr Terry's qualifications as editor are exceptional, since he was reared in an environment of nineteenth-century seamen, and is the only landsman I have met who is able to render shanties as the old seamen did. I am not musician enough to criticize his pianoforte accompaniments, but I can vouch for the authenticity of the melodies as he presents them, untampered with in any way.'

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