As always, I love the Pyrates Royale, and this new collection is no exception. These lads and lasses can really do it all - from rowdy & rousing, to lovely & sweet, and to comical & ironic. This album may be a little rough in spots, but it has that "live" energy, and thus well makes up for any lack of polish. Of course, there's some traditional shanteys & forebitters, "One More Day," "Paddy West," and a few others, done in their superb style. But then there's the songs they make their own -- such as "Bonny Ship the Diamond" - very rousing rendition concluding with an innovative round, or the "Mingulay Boat Song" sung in such a lovely lyrical way, with a nice lilting instrumental interlude.
I enjoyed the delightfully fun songs. "Swing the Cat" is a joyous rendition of this great musical pun written by Meg Davis. "Twiddles," written by Jane Meneely, turns the tables on the "girl in every port" mentality of the typical sailor.
There is a joke that is passed around the Internet about the Captain and his Red Shirt. I've been sent this joke innumerable times - so I was very amused to discover it turned into a ballad by Richard Follett in "Ballad of Old Redcoat."
This crew has a flair for the dramatic, as shown in the ominous ballad "Hellship," by N. Robertshaw, about a tragic cruise around the Horn. In the musical dialog, "The Topman and the Afterguard," they act out the grumbling and curses between two sailors.
It all concludes with the poignant "Auld Lang Syne" - the words may be similar but the beautiful lyrical tune is not the one most people are familiar with.
So run, swim or paddle to yer nearest shantey dealer, to get this album, or, send your check or money order to: The Pyrates Royale, 1767 Old B&A Blvd., Annapolis, MD 21401. Compact Discs: $15.00 Add $1.50 (per item) for postage & handling Allow 4-6 weeks. www.pyrates.com
Christine Lampe, also known as Jamaica Rose, is the Editor and Publisher of No Quarter Given, a monthly publication specializing in all things piratical -- including history, present-day festivals and activities, and music.
To subscribe, write to: No Quarter Given, PO Box 7456, Riverside, CA 92513. A one-year subscription is $12. Copies of particular issues may also be purchased for $2.50 each plus 75 cents postage, up to $4 total.
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