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  • Blog
    A Deep Dive Into Sea Shanties We couldn't help notice that sea shanties have been getting a lot of attention lately. The American Folklife Center has one of the greatest collections of sea shanty field recordings in the world. This blog post provides an introduction to sea shanties, including links to audio, video, and texts of many songs in the American Folklife Center's collections. It's lavishly illustrated with photos and...
    • Contributor: Winick, Stephen
    • Date: 2021-01-29
  • Audio Recording
    Two Sailors: Sea Shanties and Canal Boat Ballads
    • Contributor: Nye, Pearl R. - Lomax, John A. (John Avery)
    • Date: 1941
  • Audio Recording
    Shenandoah sound recording | Sung by Captain Richard Maitland at Sailor's Snug Harbor, Staten Island, NY. Recorded in 1939 by Alan Lomax for the Archive of Folksong. (General). Forms part of the Captain Richard Maitland Recordings of Sea Shanties. (Source). Sound Recording (Form).
    • Contributor: Lomax, Alan - Maitland, Captain Richard
    • Date: 1939
  • Audio Recording
    Whiskey Johnny Also issued on the American Folklife Center's published recording AFS L 27, AMERICAN SEA SONGS AND SHANTIES. Shanty. Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, Leighton and McKenzie, unaccompanied vocals. Recorded by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California on November 12, 1939. Forms part of a group of field materials documenting Captain Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, and Leighton McKenzie performing Anglo-American ballads, shanties,...
    • Contributor: Brodeur, Arthur - Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist - McKenzie, Leighton - Cowell, Sidney Robertson - Barr, Alex - Robinson, Leighton
    • Date: 1939
  • Audio Recording
    Roll the cotton down Also issued on the American Folklife Center's published recording AFS L 27, AMERICAN SEA SONGS AND SHANTIES. Shanty. Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, and Leighton McKenzie, unaccompanied vocals. Recorded by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California on November 12, 1939. Forms part of a group of field materials documenting Captain Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, and Leighton McKenzie performing Anglo-American ballads, shanties,...
    • Contributor: Brodeur, Arthur - Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist - McKenzie, Leighton - Cowell, Sidney Robertson - Barr, Alex - Robinson, Leighton
    • Date: 1939
  • Audio Recording
    Roll the Old Chariot Along and Haul the Woodpile Down Sea shanties recorded by Robert W. Gordon in the San Francisco Bay Area of California in the early 1920s (singers unknown). Gordon Cylinder Collection (cyl.50, CAL 103, CAL 104) sound recording | 1 cylinder. | Gordon Cylinder Collection. (Source). Sea shanties recorded by Robert W. Gordon in the San Francisco Bay Area of California in the early 1920s. (Content). The recording of "Haul the...
    • Contributor: Library of Congress - Gordon, Robert Winslow
    • Date: 1978
  • Audio Recording
    Rolling home Also issued on the American Folklife Center's published recording AFS L 27, AMERICAN SEA SONGS AND SHANTIES. Dust jacket notes: "A seamen's song, not a shanty." Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, and Leighton McKenzie, unaccompanied vocals. Recorded by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California on November 12, 1939. Forms part of a group of field materials documenting Captain Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur...
    • Contributor: Brodeur, Arthur - Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist - McKenzie, Leighton - Cowell, Sidney Robertson - Barr, Alex - Robinson, Leighton
    • Date: 1939
  • Audio Recording
    Poor old man Capstan shanty. Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, and Leighton McKenzie, unaccompanied vocals. Recorded by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California on November 12, 1939. Forms part of a group of field materials documenting Captain Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, and Leighton McKenzie performing Anglo-American ballads, shanties, and sea songs on November 12, 1939, collected by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California.
    • Contributor: Brodeur, Arthur - Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist - McKenzie, Leighton - Cowell, Sidney Robertson - Barr, Alex - Robinson, Leighton
    • Date: 1939
  • Audio Recording
    Hanging Johnny Shanty. Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur,and Leighton McKenzie, unaccompanied vocals. Recorded by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California on November 12, 1939. Forms part of a group of field materials documenting Captain Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, and Leighton McKenzie performing Anglo-American ballads, shanties, and sea songs on November 12, 1939, collected by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California.
    • Contributor: Brodeur, Arthur - Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist - McKenzie, Leighton - Cowell, Sidney Robertson - Barr, Alex - Robinson, Leighton
    • Date: 1939
  • Audio Recording
    Sally Brown Shanty. Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, and Leighton McKenzie, unaccompanied vocals. Recorded by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California on November 12, 1939. Forms part of a group of field materials documenting Captain Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, and Leighton McKenzie performing Anglo-American ballads, shanties, and sea songs on November 12, 1939, collected by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California.
    • Contributor: Brodeur, Arthur - Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist - McKenzie, Leighton - Cowell, Sidney Robertson - Barr, Alex - Robinson, Leighton
    • Date: 1939
  • Audio Recording
    Away, Rio Shanty. Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, and Leighton McKenzie, unaccompanied vocals. Recorded by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California on November 12, 1939. Forms part of a group of field materials documenting Captain Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, and Leighton McKenzie performing Anglo-American ballads, shanties, and sea songs on November 12, 1939, collected by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California.
    • Contributor: Brodeur, Arthur - Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist - McKenzie, Leighton - Cowell, Sidney Robertson - Barr, Alex - Robinson, Leighton
    • Date: 1939
  • Audio Recording
    Goodby, fare you well
    Homeward bound
    Inscribed on dust jacket by Sidney Robertson Cowell: "A capstan shanty--heaving the anchor. Concludes with cry of 'Vast heavin.'" Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, and Leighton McKenzie, unaccompanied vocals. Recorded by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California on November 12, 1939. Forms part of a group of field materials documenting Captain Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, and Leighton McKenzie performing Anglo-American ballads,...
    • Contributor: Brodeur, Arthur - Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist - McKenzie, Leighton - Cowell, Sidney Robertson - Barr, Alex - Robinson, Leighton
    • Date: 1939
  • Audio Recording
    Barbara Allen
    Barbara Allen
    Dust jacket notes: AFS 4228 A1 begins with false start and is incomplete. Song continues on AFS 4228 B. Inscribed on dust jacket by Sidney Robertson Cowell: "He cannot recall when he learned this song. Tune is variant of 'Polly-wolly- doodle-all-the-day.'" Alex Barr, unaccompanied vocals. Recorded by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California on November 12, 1939. Forms part of a group of field...
    • Contributor: Barr, Alex - Cowell, Sidney Robertson
    • Date: 1939
  • Audio Recording
    Sailor's alphabet Dust jacket notes: "Dull stylus." Dust jacket notes: "U is the Union at which none dare laugh." Dust jacket notes: "With other friends on chorus." Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, Leighton McKenzie, and unidentified friends, unaccompanied vocals. Recorded by Sidney Robertson Cowell in Belvedere, California on November 12, 1939. Forms part of a group of field materials documenting Captain Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr,...
    • Contributor: Brodeur, Arthur - Brodeur, Arthur Gilchrist - McKenzie, Leighton - Cowell, Sidney Robertson - Barr, Alex - Robinson, Leighton
    • Date: 1939
  • Audio Recording
    A - roodle - tum - toodle - tum - too Inscribed on dust jacket by Sidney Robertson Cowell: "First heard by Cappy [Captain] Robinson at sea in 1888. Taught by him to the S.F. [San Francisco] Yacht Club, whose song it has since become. . . Last line incomplete on disk is as follows: 'Alas, that false deceitful maid, With a musical man she had flown.' This is followed by chorus as before." Leighton...
    • Contributor: Cowell, Sidney Robertson - Robinson, Leighton
    • Date: 1939
  • Audio Recording
    Hog-Eyed Man
    • Contributor: Jabbour, Alan - Reed, Henry
    • Date: 1966-08-27
  • Blog
    "The Mermaid": the Fascinating Tail Behind an Ancient Ballad Mermaids are among folklore’s most beloved magical creatures, especially among children. Usually depicted as beautiful women with long, fishy tails, they’ve captured the imagination of many kids, and a few adults too. Most youngsters, and most parents, are aware of the sympathetic character from the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale The Little Mermaid, and its […]
    • Contributor: Winick, Stephen
    • Date: 2018-05-24
  • Audio Recording
    Lord, Lord
    • Contributor: Unidentified Performers - Cornwall, Robert - Cook, Robert Harrison
    • Date: 1940-07-02