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Event Archive - Victoria Nautical Song Circle

Sat. September 25th 2004 The Bent Mast (All Ages)
7:30 pm
The Crew of the Victoria Nautical Song Circle "musters" every two weeks for a friendly session of sea songs. No special training, equipment or information is required. There is no membership fee or application form to fill out. Apply for and maintain your "membership" with your voice and your feet! We're rather informal and not too snooty, so bring:

-Your voice and your interest
-Maybe a wee notepad to jot down some info
-We may have some copies of songs we're introducing or working up though it might be an idea to check out:
-the public library
-internet sources and
-your local book store. The Maritime Museum of BC's deal on Hugill's book is a great one. 250-385-4222. Also available at Compass Rose Nautical Books in Sidney, 250-656-4674
Maybe you could bring some material.
Feel free to bring a tape recorder to capture some tunes and words, also be prepared to leave it off if someone present requests.

Suggested Circle Format -

Just a suggestion or two to help the circle feel like a comfortable place for everyone:

Everyone gets a turn to sing, lead a song, request/suggest a song or pass. It seems fair for this to be an opportunity to be passed around the circle.

If there is a "host" they will probably facilitate this a bit. Whether there is host or not everyone may help this process with suggestions or encouragement. After all everyone _can_ sing or is there to hear something they like.

Please use instruments judiciously. They may enhance your song or dance (hornpipe anyone?), may in fact be your contribution that time around. Will playing along fit with in with someone else's song? Probably. Generally go for it, just be aware that "noodling" between songs will often prevent non-carrying/using folk (instruments that is) from starting a song. They're being polite, so, please remember your instrument has a "voice" too. Thanks.

Some folks sing using a book or sheet lyrics, you probably have or will too. Since we're all there to have fun maybe think participation vice performance!

One doesn't have to sing a song, especially a shanty (a work song, remember) exactly the way it's depicted in _one_ book or other source, nor does one have to sing all 27 verses of a song, which may make _you_ weary, maybe others as well.

Whoever is leading - their version is the way we're singing it. There probably have never been any totally "correct" ways of rendering a given shanty except for maybe one or two particular ones, (ie "Dead Horse" - couple of versions there for that matter) or for a given shantyman, crew, ship or line.

Have fun! Thanks!

For more info or to put your name, number and e-mail on our contact list, phone JD (John D.) Erskine at (250)380-7442, or email at



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