Introduction – Exploring the Popular Sea Shanty “What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?”
Sea shanties are a deeply-rooted form of maritime music that have been around for centuries. They were used to help lift the spirits of seafarers who endured long voyages and hard labor on boats. The popular sea shanty “What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?” is one of the more well-known songs from this genre, with its sing-along chorus and infectious melody. But there is much more nuance to this beloved traditional song than meets the eye. Let’s explore some of what makes it so special.
Dating back to the mid 19th century, “What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?” was traditionally sung by sailors while mooring ships in port or unloading cargo at harbours. It served as both a source of camaraderie amongst seafaring men, but also offered an important warning against excessive drinking off duty – something that has long been viewed as a danger on board ships due to its disruptive nature and tendency to lead to accidents aboard vessels. As such, many versions of this beloved folk tune include a lyric reminding sailors not to get too rowdy when ashore: “shall we just prison him down below?”
The drunken sailor refrain would often be injected with colorful language unique to the cultural setting where it was commonly sung; for instance, Caribbean immigrants living in New England adapted their version adding variations such as “What do we do wid di ole kowkoo bird? Put him inside de lion house! Oh no! Oh no!” while Indigenous peoples adopted similar interpretations such as “How shall we punish di sunman taeger [tiger]? Punish him wid a hickory log! I ho!I ho!.” This demonstrates how quickly adaptations can spread through different communities, each giving their own unique take on this timeless classic.
Known for its catchy chorus and snappy rhythm, “What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?” continues to capture people’s hearts even today thanks to its tongue-in-cheek humor about an otherwise serious subject (excessive consumption of alcohol). Regardless of why you love it – be it patriotism, nostalgia or just old sea salt charm – chances are you can recognize those familiar notes wherever you go; from school campsfires and birthday parties right through modern versions performed by folk bands across Europe and North America – proving that sea shanties like these will continue steering us towards joyful seas ahead forevermore.
Origins and History of the Lyrics
The lyrics of a song are the words that are sung in the context of a musical composition. They represent what the singer is trying to express while setting the overall mood and tone of a track. The origins and history of lyrics goes back centuries, long before mass media or even recorded music existed.
In early cultures, wordless melodies were often used to communicate sentiments, ideas and stories. As musical forms evolved over time, lyrics began to take their place in various genres such as folk and classical music. Depending on the genre, lyrical style varied widely – from romantic and poetic forms in courtly songs to more abstract beliefs expressed through chants and prayers – but all attempted to articulate message with meaning.
The 18th century saw lyricists taking on an increasingly important role as they wrote complex verses which complemented existing tunes and took into account both melody and meter when composing them. By this time, lyrics had become veiled metaphors for abstract concepts written by experienced poets who fully understood just how vital their words would be. One form which gained particular popularity during this period was the opera libretto which employed intense yet elegant language to illustrate stories or emotions thought to be too powerful for other mediums at that time
The invention of sound recording allowed musicians the chance to publicly share their own work instead of relying on interpreters whom they paid royalties upon performance (which happened prior). With more people writing, recording, releasing and then enjoying previously unheard of types of songwriting like Jazz throughout the 20th century, lyrical freedom flourished.This in turn gave Hip Hop/Rap its roots with it’s two originating cultures each having distinct styles; African-American Scatting & Jamaican Toasting which still has global influence today . Pop artists such as Madonna followed soon after using pervasive pop music production techniques combined with lilting melodies & vivid story telling lyrics that remain timeless classics today
Keeping it current , modern electronic music employs “non singing” voice libraries usings chipmunk vocals or sampled speech patterns often compared sonically to collections of whimsical sounds opposite that used in previous decades until we see representation today by artist such as Billie Eilish – 17 years old female lead completely dominating 2019 with her emotive yet hard hitting musical outputs . All collectively coming a full circle placing Lyrics back at centre stage where they truly belong!
How to Sing “What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?” Step by Step
What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor? is an old sea shanty from the 1700s and 1800s, often sung as a work song to help sailors keep rhythm while working. It’s become something of a popular classic over the years, being covered by a variety of artists. The song’s message is also one of camaraderie and good-natured joking, so it can be lots of fun to sing even if you’re not on a boat! Here are some step-by-step instructions for how to perform this shanty:
Step 1: Get Familiar with the Lyrics
The words for What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor? are usually easy enough to pick up after hearing them sung once or twice – butit’s always wise to get familiar with all of the words first, especially when performing with other people! Most of the lyrics can easily be found online.
Step 2: Get Desired Instrumentation
It’s likely that you won’t have a full complement of musical instruments required for traditional Sea Shanty performance – you don’t need them! You can still create an effective arrangement with whatever instruments are available – singing accompanied by an acoustic guitar or piano works great. You could even use simple stamping or clapping along in order to keep time!
Step 3: Practice Properly
Once you’ve gathered your resources together and feel ready to go, run through some practice rounds in order to get comfortable with your performance. Determine who will take which verses depending on what instrumentations you have available and figure out when it would be best for everyone involved comes in and plays or sings their part. Make sure that everyone’s on the same page – experiment until everything sounds perfect!
Step 4: Time To Perform
When actual performance time comes around, make sure everybody knows what their supposed to do and in what order. Sing strong together at first before breaking into distinct solos (if applicable). Sing clearly; if your voice isn’t keeping up well then let someone else take over so the sound still remains consistent throughout. Don’t forget about having fun whenever possible, too – this song should be all about good times amongst friends!
FAQs for Learning to Sing this Popular Sea Shanty
Q: What is a sea shanty?
A: A sea shanty (also known as chantey, chanty or sailing shanty) is a type of work song that was traditionally sung by sailors and fishermen. It was used to coordinate their labor on board ship, and help pass the time during long voyages out at sea. The songs were also used to help keep morale high during tough times. Sea shanties are very often in minor keys with repeating refrains, verses and chorus sections that can be adapted and expanded upon to fit any situation – making them uniquely suited for learning and performance. With their driving rhythms and gorgeous harmonies, these classic tunes are still popular around the world today!
Top 5 Fascinating Facts About “What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?”
1. “What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?” was originally written as a sailing song in the 19th century. Though it most likely originated as an actual British Naval tune, the earliest known published version is found in a sailor shanty book in 1881 and was popular among American sailors by 1889. It became so pervasive throughout the world’s navies that it even made its way to Japan during World War II.
2. The original lyrics of “What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor?” are often unknown to modern singers; more often than not, it is sung in a simplified form with missing words and phrases added by different ships or crews over time. For example, one verse about tying him up may have been programmed for comedic relief, and many versions include explicit language!
3. As well as being used at navy parties and seafaring gatherings from around the world, the sailor shanty has been covered by artists through many generations – most famously by The Pogues on their 1988 album If I Should Fall From Grace With God – and adapted into other traditional styles including jazz, folk rock and punk music chart topping groups such as Dropkick Murphys have also put their own spin on this classic track!
4. Whether at sea or ashore, the popular sing-along “What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor?” appears to be global phenomenon – it has been spotted everywhere from pubs to college classrooms where students gleefully add verses like no professional musician would dare attempt! And while some can view its less savoury elements (in particular its rough termination) as crude entertainment rather than artistic quality – it still remains beloved across all generations for its timeless melody capturing our collective imagination of tales from danger-laden days when winds were gales and seas roared like lions…
5. Even today—over a century later—the iconic tunes of this international anthem continues to evoke feelings of old style camaraderie which instills a sense of pride amongst seafarers all over the world — giving them dedication for going above and beyond all physical boundaries knowing that they remain members of vital maritime industry maybe even keeping alive hundred’s years of traditions but always unified by this powerful piece sent out across land seas sky & star boarders alike – signalling inner strength among them despite every mortality risks taken – let’s raise our sails high with What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor forever anchoring us now & throughout history ahead!!!
Final Comments & Reflections
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