Salty Dick's Uncensored Sailor Songs
Sailors, like any exclusively male community, have probably always sung 'dirty' songs. Even a cursory perusal of the available literature reveals ribald songs from cowboys, soldiers, rugby players, boy scouts. The available literature is scanty, however, since few folksong collectors preserved material of this nature. It is, therefore, one of the last branches of folk music that still relies primarily on oral transmission. If you want to learn songs that deal frankly with sexual themes, find a group of men without the company of women, open up a bottle or two, and stay close until the singing begins. For seamen, the enforced abstinence of sea voyages created a pressure that found an outlet in the singing of bawdy songs. Much material has been lost to us, but there remains a small body of song of maritime provenance that is still pure and unbowdlerized. It is my intention with this recording to preserve a few of these gems, to probe this back channel of sea music. These are songs from both the merchant service and naval tradition, songs of long ago as well as of today, and songs from all corners of the English-speaking maritime world.