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My lyric and melody sources are given in list of list of songbooks relating to Sea Songbooks.
Mostly at Sea
"Mostly at Sea" more-or-less wraps up my life, a subject on which I have waxed lyrically enough on
my same-named CD and requires no further elaboration here. It is odd to relate however, that on leaving the Royal Navy I never, ever again sang those ribald songs learned over some dozen years. It was only as a civilian in more normal circles that I became interested in and indeed enchanted by that vast body of songs and outpourings of sea-going folk over the centuries. I have delved deeply into many songbooks in acquiring a more general repertoire, my absolute favourites being Sea Songs Ships and Shanties by Master Mariner W.B. Whall, The Oxford Book of Sea Songs and The Valiant Sailor, both by Roy Palmer and Grey Funnel Lines by Cyril Tawney. Whilst folk singing in general continues its decline which started with industrialisation, it is a somewhat amazing that sea songs continue to generate interest even in this 21st century.