South Australia – Traditional
My interest in sea shanties stems from my interest in folk music. Sea shanties are work songs that were sung on sailing ships. The rhythms of the songs would help the sailors time their movements while performing tasks that required synchronous movements from multiple saliors. There are several types of sea shanties that correspond to different jobs, and “South Australia” is a capstan shanty. This song would be sung as the ship was raising its anchor.
“South Australia” has its origins on the London-Australia shipping route, and was sung as a ship was leaving London headed to Australia. Since sailors couldn’t play instruments while working, the songs had to be a capella, thus my entry into the Great So Well Remembered A Capella Battle of 2008.
The Wikipedia entry on Sea Shanties is very informative.
Posted by Adam