Seven Seas finds Pint & Dale
performing traditional work songs of the Tall Ships sailors as well as new works
by some wonderful songwriters in the folk tradition.
The traditional titles include "High Barbaree”, a tale of piracy, battle
and revenge, “Cheerily Man”, one of the oldest of all hauling songs updated
with a contemporary spin, and the deep water shanties, “Oh Mary, Come Down,”
“tBilly Boy” and “The Wild Goose Shanty”. Contemporary songs are represented
by Alan Maslen’s “The Mary Stanford of Rye,” a true saga of a British Royal
Naval Lifeboat Institute crew’s tragic sacrifice in a rescue operation gone
wrong. Ron Baxter and Ross Campbell’s “tLost” is a poignant, emotional litany
of ships and their crews that disappear in the daily struggle between man and
sea. Tim Laycock’s “Heaven’s a Bar” tells of the sailor’s unique vision
of paradise, where “the liquor is free — they keeps a great stock.” “The
Packet Rat” is William Pint’s setting of a poem by the English nautical writer,
C. Fox Smith.
As on several of their previous recordings Pint & Dale are joined here on several
songs by Tania Opland and Mike Freeman on violin, percussion and additional
vocals. Traditional English, Irish, and Northumbrian dance tunes featuring Felicia
Dale’s trademark wailing hurdy-gurdy along with mandolins, guitar and fiddles
are featured among the songs. The album runs from sensitive, introspective a
cappella songs to bursts of rollicking, joyful musical energy.
Oh Mary, Come Down!
The Mary Stanford of Rye
The Packet Rat
The Wild Goose Shanty
Heaven’s a Bar
The Prince’s Royal
The Packet Rat
C. Fox Smith/Music by William Pint
When I leave this Western ocean, to the South’ard I will steer
In a tall Colonial clipper, far an’ far enough from here,
Down the channel on a bowline, through the Tropics runnin’ free
When I’ve done wi’ the Western Ocean
An’ I’ll run my ship in Sydney, an’ then I’ll work my way
To them smilin’ South Seas Islands where there’s sunshine all the day,
An’ I’ll sell my chest an’ gear there, as soon’s I hit the shore,
An’ sling away my last discharge an’ go to sea no more.
It’s a pleasant time they have there
They wear no clo’es to speak on
An’ they’re bathin’ all the day long, or baskin’ on the sand,
All along wi’ them Kanakas as naked as your hand.
An’ I’ll lay there in the palm shade, an’ take my ease all day,
An’ look across the harbour to the shippin’ in the bay,
An’ watch the workin’ sailormen
In the workin’ Western Ocean, afore I left the sea.
I’ll hear ’em at the capstan bars, a-heavin’ good an’ hard:
I’ll hear ’em tallyin’ on the fall, an’ sweatin’ up the yard,
Hear ’em lift a halliard shanty, hear the bosun swear an’ shout,
An’ the thrashin’ of the headsheets as the vessel goes about.
An’ if the fancy takes me
Just to smell the old ship smells again, an’ taste the salt an’ spray,
I can take a spell o’ pearlin’ or a tradin’ trip or two
Where it’s none but golden weather an’ a sky that’s always blue.
But I’ll do no sailorizin’ jobs I’ll walk or lay at ease,
Like a blessed packet captain just as lordly as you please,
With a steward for my table an’ a boy to bring my beer,
An’ a score or two Kanakas for to reef an’ furl an’ steer.
An’ when I’m tired o’ cruisin’ up an’ down an’ here an’ there,
There’ll be kind Kanaka women wi’ the red flowers in their hair,
All a-waitin’ there to welcome me when I come in from sea,
When I’ve done wi’ this here oceanbut that’ll never be.
For I’d hear the parrots screamin’, an the palmtrees’ drowsy tune,
But I’d want the banks in winter, an the smell of ice in June,
An’ the hard-case mates a-bawlin’, an the strikin’ of the bell,
God! I’ve cursed it oft an’ cruelbut I’d miss it all like hell!
Yes I’d miss the Western Ocean where the packets come an’ go,
An’ the grey gulls wheelin’, callin’, an’ the grey skies hangin’ low,
An’ the blessed lights of Liverpool a-winkin’ in the rain,
For to welcome us poor packet rats come back to port again.
An’ if I took an’ died out there, my soul’d never stay
In them sunny Southern latitudes to wait the Judgement Day,
All across the seas from England I should hear the ol’ life call,
An’ the bloomin’ Western Ocean it’d get me after all.
I’d go flyin’ like a seagull, as they say dead shellbacks do,
For to see the ships I sailed in an’ the shipmates that I knew,
An’ the tough old North Atlantic where the winds do always blow,
An’ the Western Ocean packets all a-plyin’ to an’ fro.
An’ I’d leave the Trades behind me, an’ I’d leave the Southern Cross,
An’ the mollymawks an’ flyin’ fish an’ stately albatross,
An’ I’d steer through wind and weather an’ the sea fogs white as wool,
Till I sighted old Point Lynas an’ the Port o’ Liverpool.
Then I’d fly to some flash packet when the ‘ands was bendin’ sail,
An’ I’d set up on the main-truck doin’ out my wings an’ tail,
An’ I’d see the tug alongside, an’ the Peter flyin’ free,
An’ the pilot come aboard her for to take her out to sea.
An’ I’d follow down to Fastnet light, an’ then I’d hang around,
There to watch them out to Westward an’ to greet ’em homeward bound
For I know it’s easy talkin’
It’s the bloomin’ Western Ocean what’ll get me when I’m dead!