Friday, October 22, 2010


This week, your motivational, inspirational, educational videos are all musically themed.

There has been much discussion about the adaptation of traditional sea shanties to our programming. And not just singing, using it to coordinate work and pull every last ounce of spring and effort out of your sore and weary backs. Because after a while, no amount of yelling and cursing helps, and we can't use the cat o'nine, kindler, gentler Navy and all that.

Sea shanties have that unique effect. When exhausted, a lively and out of tune shanty can do wonders to revive a crew. I use the effect while driving long-distance. In fact, on one 14-hour drive recently another motorist on the NY State Thruway thought it absolutely hysterical that I was belting out "Bound for the Rio Grande" at the top of my lungs. That's right home spice keep rolling.

Our Historical Director, Vic Keranen, known to you all as the salty old fella who out-pulled the rest of the crew at Conquer the Chesapeake, has been researching rowing shanties - yes they existed, but no they weren't well documented. So he's been digging up some great finds, and the web master is building him a page on the website where the best ones can be put up for your listening pleasure.

But as much as I like the idea of singing, I have to say, the songs I like are few and far between. Like everything else in NHS, oughtn't it be fun? sarcastic? worth the effort? I certainly think so. And while there are many shanties that have dirty connotations, like "A' Rovin" - which, by the way, has some VERY dirty renditions floating around - most seem dull as dishwater. By the way, if I catch any of you dancing like that blokes in the last video, I'll crack you with the steering oar. I am, however, always willing to pay top price for Indian heads (feathers, not dots).

The last thing I want you all to associate with NHS sea shanties are people like these guys, whose primary role is to entertain the kiddies. Instead, I want you to think of the most kick ass songs that have some rythm and are catchy as all get out. From my end, I prefer the work of my favorite Yankee-Irish pub band, Ceann, who are known for such songs as 'Youre Pretty on the Inside' and the 'Worst Pirate'. But whatever is catchiest, and everyone knows or can learn, will do.

You can even take a popular tune and make up your own lyrics. Just do your best to keep it family-friendly, please.


This weekend at the Dockyard - we're tackling the fiberglass removal on the No. 2 Monomoy. Come on out and lend a hand, but remember, disposable coveralls (including old Navy coveralls that you're okay with throwing away) and respirators and goggles are a must. See you out there!


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