Mudcat Café message #3146319 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #137453   Message #3146319
Posted By: Bat Goddess
02-May-11 - 06:46 AM
Thread Name: The Rise and Fall of Shanty Festivals
Subject: RE: The Rise and Fall of Shanty Festivals
A number of years ago at the Saturday open sing at the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival (Portsmouth, New Hampshire USA), a reporter for a local rag was interviewing me and asked, "Who ARE all these people? How do they know all the words?"

That year the open sing was jam packed with a lot of people NOT in the local folk or sea music community (brought in by our advertising, posters and articles in the paper). Most of them, actually, I'd never seen before. And they were all lustily singing along on the choruses and one group of strangers actually led a Drop Kick Murphys song later in the session.

Basically, I think people enjoy SINGING and there are not many acceptable outlets for singing in public. If you walk down the street singing, people cross the street and don't make eye contact. If you sing at work, co-workers complain. can sing in church...or you can attend a festival singalong, some folk performances or, if you're really lucky, a session (like our 30 year old weekly trad session at The Press Room) where singing along or even leading a song is encouraged.

And as for "knowing all the words" -- shanties (a call and response type work songs), in particular, were created with an easy to sing along with chorus.

Just my four cents (inflation) worth...