by Gale HuntingtonFor more than two hundred years whaling was one of the greatest industries of New England. But whaling was more than a business; it represented the highest order of adventure - excitement, danger, hope of financial gain, and heartbreak. The songs whalemen sang reflected these feelings and experiences. They were, in effect, a record of life on board a whaling ship.This work is one of the largest collections of ballads and songs traditionally sung by the seamen. It contains over 175 songs, with music provided for most of them. There are songs of storm, shipwrectk, love, tragedy, and death; gospel, parlor, bawdy songs, and more!The author's introduction details the history of whaling and discusses how and why these songs were recorded. In addition, he gives complete histories of the songs; relates the events the ballads celebrate; gives variants; and defines whaling expressions. This is an essential book for ballad students, folklorists, historians, and seamen. Folk singers will especially welcome this rich source of material. And general readers will delight in these adventurous tunes and their tales of love, the sea, and the ship. First published in 1964, Songs the Whalemen Sang is now reissued by Mystic Seaport.
Regular retail $19.95