578: Gerry Smyth: Sailor Song

People have been singing at sea since they first took to boats. In “Sailor Song” acclaimed writer, playwright and musician Gerry Smyth introduces 40 working shanties from the great days of sail, as well as 10 off-duty sea ballads. Its pages decorated with hand-drawn or wood-cut illustrations from celebrated artist Jonny Hannah, Sailor Song addresses the current modern revival of sea shanties, and seeks to celebrate and to explore the historical, musical and social history of the traditional sea song through 40 shanties.

“the sea as a measure of our own perennial humanity”

“Sailor Song: The Shanties and Ballads of the High Seas” is written by Gerry Smyth and illustrated by Jonny Hannah. Published by British Library in 2021. Donated to the library by Jonny Hannah ❤️

Photos by Anna Iltnere / Sea Library

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