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Should women sing chanties

GUEST,FloraG 23 Apr 19 - 02:43 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Apr 19 - 03:27 AM
GUEST,LynnH 23 Apr 19 - 03:34 AM
GUEST,Mark 23 Apr 19 - 03:40 AM
Doug Chadwick 23 Apr 19 - 03:40 AM
Acorn4 23 Apr 19 - 03:51 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 23 Apr 19 - 03:56 AM
GUEST,Erich 23 Apr 19 - 04:02 AM
Johnny J 23 Apr 19 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,Grishka 23 Apr 19 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,Peter 23 Apr 19 - 04:48 AM
GUEST,kenny 23 Apr 19 - 04:51 AM
Jack Campin 23 Apr 19 - 04:54 AM
GUEST,Sol 23 Apr 19 - 04:55 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 23 Apr 19 - 04:57 AM
Johnny J 23 Apr 19 - 05:01 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 23 Apr 19 - 05:05 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Apr 19 - 06:04 AM
Dave Hanson 23 Apr 19 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,FloraG 23 Apr 19 - 07:49 AM
Daniel Kelly 23 Apr 19 - 07:59 AM
Doug Chadwick 23 Apr 19 - 08:36 AM
RTim 23 Apr 19 - 09:08 AM
Thompson 23 Apr 19 - 09:18 AM
NOMADMan 23 Apr 19 - 09:35 AM
mayomick 23 Apr 19 - 09:44 AM
Raedwulf 23 Apr 19 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Mark 23 Apr 19 - 10:01 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Apr 19 - 10:35 AM
Lester 23 Apr 19 - 11:01 AM
Jeri 23 Apr 19 - 11:14 AM
GUEST,Mark 23 Apr 19 - 11:15 AM
punkfolkrocker 23 Apr 19 - 11:37 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 23 Apr 19 - 12:35 PM
meself 23 Apr 19 - 12:48 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Apr 19 - 01:10 PM
Vic Smith 23 Apr 19 - 01:17 PM
Acorn4 23 Apr 19 - 02:08 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Apr 19 - 03:16 PM
Joe Offer 23 Apr 19 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,Lester Gayley Moe 23 Apr 19 - 04:18 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Apr 19 - 04:51 PM
Mrrzy 23 Apr 19 - 05:05 PM
ChanteyLass 23 Apr 19 - 10:46 PM
ChanteyLass 23 Apr 19 - 10:49 PM
Catamariner 24 Apr 19 - 12:40 AM
Joe Offer 24 Apr 19 - 01:49 AM
BobL 24 Apr 19 - 02:05 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Apr 19 - 02:43 AM
Doug Chadwick 24 Apr 19 - 03:08 AM
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Subject: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 02:43 AM

I think this is my last prejudice. I know they can sing them - but should they?
Anyone else got any strong opinions?
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 03:27 AM

yes anyone should sing whatever they feel like. thats how we arrive a folk music. it a very democratic process.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,LynnH
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 03:34 AM

If my memory isn't failing me I seem to recall Chris Coe saying that her version of Shallow Brown has the Stan Hugill seal of approval.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 03:40 AM

Quite possibly


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 03:40 AM

If they want to. If you don't want to hear them, go somewhere else.

DC


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Acorn4
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 03:51 AM

There is an outfit called "She Shanties" who are doing an extremely good job of interpreting the songs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TknOkXR7h7E


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 03:56 AM

I'm never happy with blanket judgments being made about what any pre-defined group of people "should" or "shouldn't" sing (or dance, or write). Especially since where you tend to hear shanties - usually in clubs/sessions/festivals/showcase events - is within a context of listening, not as hands-on crewing work.

Why on earth shouldn't people sing anything they like without courting disapproval?


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Erich
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 04:02 AM

Oh jes. "She Shanties"!! I like them, they are great and a lot of fun.
Keep singing, ladies.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Johnny J
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 04:37 AM

A lot of the songs composed by these singer song writer types, women and men, sound as if they were composed while they were sitting on the chanty.
:-)


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 04:44 AM

The answer is not quite as easy if the question is "Should performers sing songs in concerts (with admission fee) if they cannot act as the narrator?" They do it all the time, often with great success, but there are limits beyond which it may become ridiculous. Always ask yourself: Will the audience enjoy it, or otherwise at least learn something new?

On the other hand, most folk songs are "fake" in some sense, among these the most enjoyable ones.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 04:48 AM

It's how they are sung rather than who sings them.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,kenny
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 04:51 AM

"A lot of the songs composed by these singer song writer types, women and men, sound as if they were composed while they were sitting on the chanty".
:-)
A lot of them these days sound as though they're SINGING them "while sitting on the chanty".
Anyone can sing anything they want, as far as I am concerned.
There was a similar discussion years ago here in Aberdeen concerning women singing bothy ballads. Seems a bit academic now, since the major "Bothy Ballad" competition was won a few years ago by Shona Donaldson.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 04:54 AM

Should fat old men who'd be no use on a real ship sing them?


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Sol
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 04:55 AM

Songs are for singing.
I really enjoyed the She Shanties in the link above.
As for suggesting women can't sing these types of songs, well 'blow the man down' who said it :)


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 04:57 AM

I don't really have a problem with the narrator-persona being sung by someone of a different gender. Again, same goes for writing. A good song or story, well portrayed, can stand on its own merits. So can a good singer or writer.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Johnny J
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 05:01 AM

To answer the original question seriously... Yes, why not?

Very few singers are left who have actually "lived" the life that sea shanties and bothy ballads etc relate, in any case.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 05:05 AM

... and we're already suspending a lot of disbelief anyway, when it comes to songs and stories.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 06:04 AM

I dunno, but I do know that real men don't eat quiche...


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 06:43 AM

Of course they should, as Buffy St Marie said,' it's only music, you can't break it '

Anyone should sing anything they feel like singing.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 07:49 AM

I think my prejudice arises from noisy pubs. You need to be sufficiently loud to lead a shanty - and not all women are.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Daniel Kelly
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 07:59 AM

I've listened to and learnt shanties from some fantastic (and very loud) women singers. Of course women can and should sing whatever they feel like.

It isn't like someone is going to walk out on a shanty group performing because Gavin couldn't tie a bowline to save his life.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 08:36 AM

You need to be sufficiently loud to lead a shanty - and not all women are.

But some are. A generalisation should not be turned into a restriction on a whole section of the population. Not all people can sing in tune or in time. Does this mean that nobody, men or women, should sing in public?

DC


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: RTim
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 09:08 AM

Stupid question and I wondered whether I should even bother to answer.

The fact is many woman sing shanties and have for years - the best in the USA are The Johnson Girls -
See here - The Johnson Girls - Home

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Thompson
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 09:18 AM

Women shouldn't sing sea shanties as long as

* only working sailors are allowed to sing them
* nobody who does not live in Ireland is allowed to sing Irish music
* the Blues can only be sung by black Americans from the Deep South or New York
* traditional nursery rhymes rooted in 16th- and 17th-century England are verboten to anyone not living in that era in that place…


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: NOMADMan
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 09:35 AM

Here's the Johnson Girls' website.

The Johnson Girls

John Mazza (NOMADMan)


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: mayomick
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 09:44 AM

The fact that they can’t do any physical damage when singing chanties should be the only thing that counts surely?


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Raedwulf
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 09:56 AM

"Why shouldn't women sing chanties" would be more to the point.

As eny fule knoe, chanties are work songs (well, originally they were!). They're intended to give a steady rhythm / tempo to a group task that requires repetitive co-ordinated effort. Is anyone trying to say that women never engaged in such work? So why shouldn't they sing them?


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 10:01 AM

I wonder if we need a spin-off thread, as I have something of an interest in the points "Thompson" raised above.

Quite a few years ago, a member of the band I was in suggested covering Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road". I was not comfortable with the idea - the gulf between the experience that Earle was discussing and ours seemed too big. The song seemed perhaps too specific and too personal.

Any thoughts?


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 10:35 AM

No its like a speech from a play. not everybody who plays macbeth has to stab a member of the royal family in bed.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Lester
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 11:01 AM

I assume men are banned from singing Waulking Songs then
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekO8W0zSZO8


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 11:14 AM

If you're trying to be "authentic", you shouldn't sing shanties if
-you aren't on a ship
-you aren't singing to coordinate work
-and you probably aren't sing reliably on pitch
-and the ship isn't a period-appropriate working vessel

If you can manage all that, and you happen to be a female ramblin' sailor, go for it. But "authentic" can go too far.

My actual philosophy on this is, if you allow giving a fuck about what other people think you should or shouldn't do stop you, you probably shouldn't sing them.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 11:15 AM

Big Al said:
"not everybody who plays macbeth has to stab a member of the royal family in bed. "

Yeah, but it would make auditions more interesting and, arguably, perform a public service.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 11:37 AM

Perhaps if women chanty singers wore fake beards and prosthetic beer bellies...???


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 12:35 PM

'Farbs,' 'progressives' and 'stitch counters.' Oh MY!

The U.S. Navy started letting the ladies sing them way back in the nineteen and eighties. They do it just for the fun of it. You too may have the fun. Think of them as summer camp songs.

Is anybody actually doing so-called 'living history' with the shanty/chanty/chantey/fhanty these days? If so, avoid them like the plague, never mind the genders.

You shouldn't want to be involved in the latter for the same reasons white folks shouldn't want to act in the role of plantation slaves. It's not about you or now. It's about them & then.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: meself
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 12:48 PM

Surely it's a matter of personal taste - should formal, ('white') church-y choirs sing five-part-harmony arrangements of folk songs? That sort of thing doesn't appeal to me in the least - but I'm not going to say they shouldn't do it: let them have their fun. Similarly, there are no doubt those horrible, primitive people who do not find female shanty-singing appealing; that shouldn't stop any female from singing sh/chanteys/ies.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 01:10 PM

'Perhaps if women chanty singers wore fake beards and prosthetic beer bellies...???'

Only ex public schoolboys have those sort of fantasies...


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Vic Smith
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 01:17 PM

Should women sing chanties
Should anyone sing chanties?


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Acorn4
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 02:08 PM

But as we all know many of those bold sailors were women "dressed all in mans' array" in any case.

I rest my case!


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 03:16 PM

To the best of my knowledge these female sailors all followed their true loves into RN ships where chanties were forbidden anyway.

Another thumbs up for 'She Shanties'. Listened to a full album of theirs last autumn. Super stuff. Nice harmonies and some strong voices. Sadie and Ruth were always strong voiced but the others have come on greatly since I first heard them live.

The fact that only men sang them originally has no relevance. Practically the whole of the folk scene is based on re-invention and innovation. Any criticism would be double standards. (IMHO)


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 03:38 PM

I'll second the recommendation of the Johnson Girls. I didn't find a YouTube channel for them, but their audio page has some examples of their recordings.
The Johnson Girls, Joy Bennett, Alison Kelley, Bonnie Milner, and Deirdre Murtha, are a very Mudcat-friendly group. Only one of the four has not been registered as a member of Mudcat.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: GUEST,Lester Gayley Moe
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 04:18 PM

Probably not as women can't really do anything right other than serving men and preparing food. They can actually do that pretty well, I'm chuffed whenever I see a pretty woman prepare food. I love it because thats their place. But as for shanties? Nah they're not capable of it. That takes balls, which women don't have.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 04:51 PM

:)


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 05:05 PM

Why on earth or sea was this question even raised?


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 10:46 PM

I enjoyed hearing the She Shanties at the above link.
Bonnie Milner of the Johnson Girls has been a teacher of the Sea Music classes at Mystic Seaport. Because I've taken the classes, I've had several conversations with her. She and the other Johnson Girls not only sing these songs, but they also know the history and origins of them I'll be seeing them perform on Saturday night, and earlier in the day I'll see Bonnie when the current Sea Music Class students give their final,performance.
Here's a fairly recent video of them singing in New Hampshire in late September, 2018. I like they way they created a medley of Ranzo songs with each of them taking the lead on one of those songs.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 23 Apr 19 - 10:49 PM

And I did it again--left out the link! Here's the link I meant to include in my post.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=f7759x3sma4


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Catamariner
Date: 24 Apr 19 - 12:40 AM

Um, woman with a strong baritone chest voice here. I sail, I fix boats, I've picked up a dive mooring in the middle of a tropical storm turning into a hurricane when our anchor rode parted, I'd damn well better be allowed to sing a chantey ;-)


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 19 - 01:49 AM

What's the name of the woman named Celeste who was chanteyranger before chanteyranger? She's now superintendent of a landlubber national park, but Peter Kasin still invites her to sing in San Francisco. She's a wonderful singer. I wonder if she has recordings.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: BobL
Date: 24 Apr 19 - 02:05 AM

FWIW, should agnostics, atheists or Jews be allowed to join in Sacred Harp singings? Outside of the Deep South, that is.

Songs are like children - once they leave home they live their own lives.


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Apr 19 - 02:43 AM

Can't see any reason why women can't sing shanties, on the other hand, I can't see any reason why they should want to
Shanties are work songs associated with specific jobs done entirely by men - it seems a little pretentious that women should want to sing them
I only sing songs I can identify with - that's what gives me pleasure
Whatever turns you on, I suppose
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Should women sing chanties
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 24 Apr 19 - 03:08 AM

I only sing songs I can identify with ...

Have you ever sung a murder ballad, Jim? Should we be worried when there is a suspicious death in your area?

My own repertoire would be pretty limited - there are not many songs about oil refineries.

If there is no objection to male librarians, accountants, teachers and the like, who seem to make up a fair proportion of the average folk club, singing chanties, then why should female chanty singers be frowned upon.

DC


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