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Thread: Pirate Song Collective

  1. #1
    en kunnskapssøker James Miller's Avatar
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    Default Pirate Song Collective

    Where can I obtain a book or collection of Pirate or Privateer songs for the mandolin?

    There had to be mandolins back during the seafaring days. Not having much luck finding a book of collective songs.
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    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective

    I tend to start here http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk if you scroll a good way down the page then you’ll get to shanties and songs of the sea.
    My thoughts are that, for authenticity, you’d be better off with concertina rather than mandolin, but anything can carry a tune so you may as well go for it. They’r great rhythmically as they often were used to coordinate & drive the work on board.

    In terms of interesting insights, the maritime songs from southwestern Italy (Bayof Naples etc.) are fun and are such a good fit for mandolin it would be worth a bit of exploring; http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/mu...20-%200273.htm if you can find a tame rhythm guitarist to work them up with they’ll come over even better.
    Eoin



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    en kunnskapssøker James Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective

    Quote Originally Posted by Beanzy View Post
    I tend to start here http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk if you scroll a good way down the page then you’ll get to shanties and songs of the sea.
    My thoughts are that, for authenticity, you’d be better off with concertina rather than mandolin, but anything can carry a tune so you may as well go for it. They’r great rhythmically as they often were used to coordinate & drive the work on board.

    In terms of interesting insights, the maritime songs from southwestern Italy (Bayof Naples etc.) are fun and are such a good fit for mandolin it would be worth a bit of exploring; http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/mu...20-%200273.htm if you can find a tame rhythm guitarist to work them up with they’ll come over even better.
    Wow, you're a plethora of information. Thanks, again, and again!
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    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective

    Rise Up Singing has a section of Sea Shanties. That book just does chords and lyrics. As mentioned above, I don't think mandolin was a main instrument of that kind of music but, you can adapt it. For albums to get songs from (and then hunt for notation to write your own tab from, I really liked Dan Zane's Sea Music record (granted it was for kids but pretty darn trad), Rogues Gallery (many of these are NSFW), and one of my all time favorite a'capella records is Finest Kind's - Heart's Delight which is mostly English sea going songs.

    Jamie
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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective

    Quote Originally Posted by Beanzy View Post
    My thoughts are that, for authenticity, you’d be better off with concertina rather than mandolin,
    The concertina wasn't invented until after the great age of piracy; most ships had a fiddler in the 1600-1800 period.

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective

    I'm not sure how many genuine pirate songs there are -- not very many folk song collectors ever joined their crews...

    There are loads and loads of nautical songs, generally falling into two categories: work songs (shanties) and fo'c'sle songs (ballads/songs sung for pleasure in their free time). Shanties have to be very rhythmic and repetitive as they had the specific function of ensuring that a work crew were all pulling in sync. Fo'c'sle songs are much more varied, and are often related to land-based folk songs, or dance tunes set to words. Some of them tell pirate stories, but generally they were not sung by pirates but by mostly-peaceful ordinary sailors. Of course, seafaring being a rough trade in all-male company, the words were generally pretty coarse. Folk song collectors often bowdlerised the words for a more genteel audience.

    Good sources for nautical folk songs are the albums of A.L. Lloyd, Louis Killen, Cyril Tawney, Ewan MacColl and Alan Lomax. If you're of an academic bent, here is a list of every single genuine field recording of sailor's songs in the Library Of Congress and here is a review of a commercial CD with some of these recordings. Dry stuff, though.

    As for published song collections, try this one which is out of copyright (from Project Gutenberg):

    The Shanty Book, Part I (1921)

    This has 30 shanties with melody and piano accompaniment, plus MIDI files.

    Also, here is a small collection of sea songs from the EFDSS.

    Martin
    Last edited by Martin Jonas; Feb-19-2018 at 1:21pm.

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective

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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective

    Hi, Jim

    You might want to have a look at the Oxford Book of Sea Songs for some options on sailing music from various periods. As David points out above, the age of piracy was roughly late 1500s-1730s. For information on mandolin during that period, see this thread on mandolin in colonial America, from the classical board here.

    Best,

    Barry

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  14. #9
    en kunnskapssøker James Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective

    Yeah, I like pirate themed songs and old pirate-like songs. Drunken Sailor is a cute one to play, specially along with the Irish Rovers on YouTube. It's trying to find that right strumming patterns that sounds the best with things, and the rhythm.

    I figured most pirates are drunk or under the influence of something so one cannot play the song wrong, ya know. /VBG

    One tune that has come to me playing the mandolin a fellow strummed differently - made it sound more melodic. He's got years of guitar practice under him and I've got a mere few months, so training the right hand to do what I want or for it to find/use the appropriate strum pattern is a feat in itself.
    Don't want to get off on a tangent of strumming techniques though.

    'Tis strange that the paperback version is more expensive then the hardback. Guess the paperback version would be wanted more to put in vinyl page protectors?
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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective

    Quote Originally Posted by James Miller View Post
    'Tis strange that the paperback version is more expensive then the hardback. Guess the paperback version would be wanted more to put in vinyl page protectors?
    I wouldn't pay any attention to Amazon listed prices for out-of-print books -- these are fantasy prices put up by individual used book sellers hoping that somebody out there is sufficiently desperate to pay a fortune for a dog-eared ex-library copy. In this case, it's simply that the guy who has a hardback copy is slightly less mercenary/deluded than the guy with the paperback copy. You're just as likely to find this book for 50 cents/pence at your local charity shop or library sale.

    If you're desperate for this particular book, the cheapest way may be to "borrow" an electronic copy from archive.org:

    https://archive.org/details/oxfordbookofseas00palm

    I'm not sure how the concept of borrowing a PDF for 14 days works, but it may all become clear if you register and log in.

    Martin

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  17. #11
    en kunnskapssøker James Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective

    Interesting... have seen this book online in Australia, and now the UK. Not very good at reading music though/ /sigh
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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Jonas View Post
    I wouldn't pay any attention to Amazon listed prices for out-of-print books
    Excellent advice.

    For real-world prices on used books, go to bookfinder.com

  19. #13
    en kunnskapssøker James Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective

    Checked out the PDF (online reader) and it's written in tadpoles and hopscotch.
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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective


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    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective

    Well, non-pirate, but sea-oriented: I was hoping that I'd find more on the Mystic Seaport's website, as they have a killer sea music festival every year. We live close by, so it was easy to bring our son there when they had a number of original chantey men from various parts of the country. That said, this link here gets you started, and here's the video on that page:



    A great resource. Or this:

    Smithsonian Folkways

  22. #16
    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pirate Song Collective

    We saw these folks at Mystic one year. Again, not being terribly pirate-helpful but this whole genre has a bunch of tunes that are way overlooked these days:


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