The MHN Blog is a companion to the Maritime Heritage Network, a not-for-profit, comprehensive website of maritime heritage organizations, attractions, and activities in the Pacific Northwest. The blog highlights news, activities, and resources useful to the entire maritime heritage community. All views expressed are the author's own. Opposing views are welcome.

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Monday, July 31, 2006

Saving Wawona, One Song at a Time


Seattle's vibrant maritime music community has been an anchor of support for the schooner Wawona, and it's produced a compact disc to prove it. Called "Save the Wawona: One Song at a Time," proceeds from the sale of the CD, available online at CD Baby, support restoration of the 1897 vessel. The disc has 18 songs from the maritime tradition produced by the Pacific Northwest's best sea musicians.

Sea music, a sub-genre of folk music, includes work songs known as "shanties," traditional ballads called "forebitters," and modern songs treating modern subjects, such as the difficulty of making a living on the sea. Some of the artists are world-renowned, such as duo William Pint & Felicia Dale, while others quietly keep the traditions alive in their home towns, such as Dan Roberts. Sea music has a strong sense of ribald humor: check out the songs "Hose Me Down," which describes the after effects of a blistering night out, and a live recording of "Pub With No Beer," about the tragedy of a bar empty of suds.

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