A little over a Jupiter cycle ago, during the 1992 Tall Ships Race, I had the privilege of serving as music/history instructor/performer and liaison officer aboard the 140-ft Polish staysail schooner Zawisza Czarny. Under the direction of Marek Siurawski (the father of the Polish shanty movement) her young performing crew sang and danced their way from Poland to America and back, and at the end of my stint with them on the return part of the voyage we recorded an album of their best numbers at Bob Buckle’s 8-track studio in Wallasey. Despite their exhaustion from weeks of crossing the Atlantic and the excitement of the huge tall ship gathering on the Mersey, the crew managed a high-energy, four-hour session that documented the extraordinary musical performances of the voyage.

For reasons I cannot really comprehend (some of the crew thought the performances weren’t their absolute best), the album has not been released until now. It’s well overdue, so here is a preliminary copy, higher quality version to come when I get some studio time to master it on a better machine…in the meantime, enjoy…

Side One 

1. Roller-Bowler – the regular opener

2. Zawisza Czarny – ship’s theme song

3. John Cherokee – American capstan shanty

4. Razem – an original crew favorite

5. I’s The B’y – Newfoundland classic, with a very “in” tag…

6. Juliana (London Julie) – a rare shanty, at least in America

7. Henry My Son – a version of “Lord Randall,” Child ballad #12

8. Instrumental (Soldier’s Joy, etc.) -- frantic!

9. Run, Come See – Bahamian Blind Blake favorite, John Townley lead vocal and guitar

Side Two

1. South Australia – pumping shanty, Simon Spalding lead vocal and fiddle

2. Hey Zeglarz – another original crew favorite

3. Owl and the Pussycat – our ragtime, foo-foo band ensemble

4. Rosa – traditional round, version of “Hey, Ho, Nobody Home”

5. Dead Horse – ceremonial (paying-off celebration) shanty

6. Sailing Song – the crew’s penultimate song in each performance

7. Goodbye, Fair Thee Well – the regular finish

Produced and arranged by John Townley and Marek Siurawski; Bob Buckle, engineer; recorded at Bob Buckle Studios, Wallasey, Merseyside, U.K.

Photos by John Townley and Pawel Jedrzejko






Just posted!!: 

The Liaison Officer's Journal

July-August 1992

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...60+ photos included...

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