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Erie Canal by Roger McGuinn (a bouncy song in MP3)

You will love the bouncy tune of Erie Canal. It tells a comic story about a tragic boat journey down the historic Erie Canal. The latter was built in the 19th century to create a navigable water route from New York City and the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. This song is part of American singer Roger McGuinn's Folk Den project. It being shared by Marine Café Blog under the original Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US. .(2.9 MiB, mp3, 3:09 minutes)


 1 file(s)  6 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Principal Parts and Sails of 19th-Century Sailing Ships

This is a valuable reference material for sailing enthusiasts, maritime historians, writers and teachers. It describes the principal parts of a sailing ship in the British or American fleets of the 19th century, as well as the locations and naming protocol of masts, yards, gaffs, stays and booms and the sails they spread. (942 KiB, PDF, 8 pages) See also Introduction to Sail and Rigging Types by Martin Hendry (illustrated)


 1 file(s)  24 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

The Times are Hard (sea shanty in MP3)

Many seafarers will be able identify with the lyrics of The Times are Hard: The times are hard and the wages low/ O leave her Johnnie leave her/ O the times are hard and the wages low/ It's time for us to leave her. This sea shanty is performed by Roots A Capella, a youth choir in Devon, England. The audio file is courtesy of the London-based English Folk Dance & Music Society. (1.6 MiB, MP3, 1:42 minutes)


 1 file(s)  6 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Lost Ships and Lonely Seas

Enjoy these 17 true stories of shipwrecks and other unfortunate incidents at sea. Published in 1921, Lost Ships and Lonely Seas reads like an adventure book. The author, American journalist Ralph Delahaye Paine, throws light on the perils of 19th century seafaring. An excerpt from Chapter 1: The wild gale smote them in the darkness of night. They tried to heave the vessel to, but she was battered and wrenched without mercy. Stout canvas was whirled away in fragments. The seams of the hull opened as she labored, and six feet of water flooded the hold. Leaking like a sieve, the Polly would never see port again. (9.3 MiB, PDF, 450 pages)


 1 file(s)  3 downloadsCategory: Literary Works, Maritime History and CultureDownload

The Old Merchant Marine: A Chronicle of American Ships and Sailors

Published in 1919, The Old Merchant Marine: A Chronicle of American Ships and Sailors describes the glory days of American merchant shipping. It was written by the noted American journalist and author, Ralph Delahaye Paine (1871 – 1925). The first two sentences will make you want to continue reading till the end of the book: The story of American ships and sailors is an epic of blue water which seems regularly remote, almost unreal, to the later generations. A people with a native genius for seafaring won and held a brilliant supremacy through two centuries and then forsook this heritage of theirs. (6.8 MiB, PDF, 230 pages)


 1 file(s)  14 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Day-O (Day Dah Light) by Roger McGuinn (MP3)

American musician Roger McGuinn interprets an old Jamaican song which was sung by men as they loaded ships with bananas. This song is part of McGuinn's Folk Den project. It is shared here by Marine Café Blog under the Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US. (3.0 MiB file size, MP3 format, 2:10 minutes). See also Harry Belafonte's Banana Boat (Day-o)


 1 file(s)  20 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

The Buccaneers and Marooners of America: Being an Account of the Famous Adventures and Daring Deeds of Certain Notorious Freebooters of the Spanish Main (edited by Howard Pyle)

This book chronicles the exploits of several 17th-century pirates, including the infamous Blackbeard. It should appeal to anyone who is fascinated with pirates.As American illustrator and author Howard Pyle (1853 –1911) notes in the Introduction: Courage and daring, no matter how mad and ungodly, have always a redundancy of vim and life to recommend them to the nether man that lies within us, and no doubt his desperate courage, his battle against the tremendous odds of all the civilized world of law and order had had much to do in making a popular hero of our friend of the black flag. (20.7 MiB, PDF, 400 pages)


 1 file(s)  1 downloadCategory: Literary Works, Maritime History and CultureDownload

A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe (PDF edition)

A Journal of the Plague Year by English novelist Daniel Defoe (1660–1731) is about the Great Plague of London in 1664–65. The story is narrated by one "H.F.", a purported eyewitness. Although fictionalised, Defoe's historical reconstruction of this grim chapter in London's history is convincing. Indeed, parts of it have an uncanny resemblance to events occurring during the coronavirus pandemic that started in 2019. (761.4 KiB, PDF, 181 pages ).


 1 file(s)  22 downloadsCategory: Literary Works, Maritime History and CultureDownload

A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe (EPUB edition)

A Journal of the Plague Year by English novelist Daniel Defoe (1660–1731) is about the Great Plague of London in 1664–65. The story is narrated by one "H.F.", a purported eyewitness. Although fictionalised, Defoe's historical reconstruction of this grim chapter in London's history is convincing. Indeed, parts of it have an uncanny resemblance to events occurring during the coronavirus pandemic that started in 2019. NOTE: You need an appropriate e-book reader to view the file on your smartphne or tablet. (413.2 KiB, EPUB).


 1 file(s)  12 downloadsCategory: Literary Works, Maritime History and CultureDownload

Rolling Home (a seamen’s song)

Rolling Home celebrates the joy of sailors as they sail back to their homeland. Recorded in 1939, this seamen's song (not a shanty) was performed by Captain Leighton Robinson, Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur and Leighton McKenzie. It is part of the W.P.A. California Folk Music Project collection, Library of Congress, USA. (10.5 MiB, MP3, 4:34 minutes)


 1 file(s)  3 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Johnny (a sea song from the 1930s)

This old song is about a sailor who comes back from sea in the hope of marrying the girl he loves. He soon realises that she is only after his money. Recorded in 1938, the song was performed by Ward H.Ford. It is part of the Library of Congress W.P.A. California Folk Music Project collection. (6.4 MiB, MP3, 2:48 minutes)


 1 file(s)  9 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates (PDF)

Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates is a collection of eight classic pirate stories written by the American illusrator, painter and author, Howard Pyle (1853–1911). It has been enriched by Pyle's wonderful illustrations, making it a great read for art lovers as well as pirate fans and students of history. Merle Johnson, who compiled the stories, wrote in his Foreword: Pirates, Buccaneers, Marooners, those cruel but picturesque sea wolves who once infested the Spanish Main, all live in present-day conceptions in great degree as drawn by the pen and pencil of Howard Pyle…It is improbable that anyone else will ever bring his combination of interest and talent to the depiction of these old-time Pirates, any more than there could be a second Remington to paint the now extinct Indians and gun-fighters of the Great West. (16.7 MiB, PDF, 341 pages)


 1 file(s)  32 downloadsCategory: Literary Works, Maritime History and CultureDownload

Santy Ano (a lively sea shanty in MP3)

Santy Ano (or Santy Anno) is a sea shanty whose origins date back to the mid-19th century. This version is full of zest and vigour. It is from the Gold Rush Sea Chanteys collection of the Maritime Museum of San Diego in California, USA. (3.2 MiB, MP3, 3.14 minutes)


 1 file(s)  14 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Two Years Before the Mast (an American classic for smartphones and tablets)

Two Years Before the Mast is a memoir by American lawyer Richard Henry Dana Jr. of his two-year voyage from Boston to California as a common sailor on board a merchant ship. The term "before the mast" refers to the sailors' quarters located in the forecastle (the ship's bow). This book was first published in 1840 when Dana was still a law student at Harvard Universiy. In his Introduction, Prof. Homer Eaton Keyes explains why it is an American classic: We read it to-day not merely for its simple, unpretentious style; but for its clear picture of sea life previous to the era of steam navigation, and for its graphic description of conditions in California before visions of gold sent the long lines of "prairie schooners" drifting across the plains to unfold the hidden destiny of the West. (381.3 KiB, EPUB format)


 1 file(s)  4 downloadsCategory: Literary Works, Maritime History and Culture, Seafaring and ManningDownload

Pay Me My Money Down (shanty in MP3)

Pay Me My Money Down is said to have been composed by African-American dock workers and picked up by West Indian sailors and sung as a shanty. More about the song here: http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-black-origins-of-song-pay-me-my.html This version, performed by Adriano Adewale and Tim Cansfield in acappella, is courtesy of the London-based English Folk Dance and Song Society. (2.2 MiB, MP3, 2:24 minutes)


 1 file(s)  13 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Island in the Sun by Harry Belafonte (video clip)

Watch Jamaican-American singer Harry Belafonte perform Island in the Sun in this 1957 video clip. The song was the title track of the 1957 film 'Island in the Sun' in which Belafonte played one of the main characters. (14.5 MiB, MP4, 1:39 minutes)


 1 file(s)  19 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Randy Dandy Oh by Roger McGuinn (shanty in MP3)

Randy Dandy Oh is a traditional shanty that will make you want to sing along because of its wonderful tempo. This version is by American musician Roger McGuinn and is part of his Folk Den project, It is licensed  under a  Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. (3.5 MiB, MP3, 3.03 minutes long)


 1 file(s)  19 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

The Lusitania’s Last Voyage

The 31,550-tonne RMS Lusitania, an ocean liner owned by Cunard Line, was sunk by a German U-boat on 7th May 1915. This book is a first-hand account of her last fateful voyage by Charles E. Lauriat, Jr., one of the survivors. (4.9 MiB, PDF, 175 pages including cover)


 1 file(s)  0 downloadCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Drunken Sailor by Albert Octave (shanty in MP3)

An interesting version of the popular shanty Drunken Sailor — the way it is likely to be sung by inebriated sailors. Also known as What Shall We Do with a/the Drunken Sailor?, this song is published in this website under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International  licence. (4.2 MiB, MP3, 3:43 minutes)


 1 file(s)  73 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Strike the Bell (shanty in MP3)

The song's title refers to the striking of a ship's bell to mark each half-hour of a four-hour watch (eight bells in all). This charming Age of Sail shanty is courtesy of the Maritime Museum of San Diego in California, USA. It is part of the museum's Voyage of Hope Sea Chanteys collection (File size: 2.0 MiB, MP3, 2:14 mnutes)


 1 file(s)  48 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Don’t Forget Your Old Shipmate (traditional naval song, MP3)

Don't Forget Your Old Shipmate is a timeless song that was sung by British Royal Navy sailors during the Napoleonic era. This track is courtesy of the Folk Den Project by American musician Roger McGuinn and is published on this website under a   Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License . (7.3 MiB, MP3 format, 5:20 minutes)  


 1 file(s)  203 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

The Truth About the Titanic by Colonel Archibald Gracie

The Truth About the Titanic is considered one of the most accurate firsthand accounts of the tragedy. It was written by Colonel Archibald Gracie, a passenger on the RMS Titanic who was part of the heroic efforts to put other passengers onto the lifeboats. Published posthumously in 1913, the book sets the record straight on what really happened. Gracie describes, for instance, the moment immediately after the iceberg struck: It was now that the band began to play, and continued while the boats were being lowered.We considered this a wise provision tending to allay excitement. I did not recognize any of the tunes, but I know they were cheerful and were not hymns. If, as has been reported, ''Nearer My God to Thee'' was one of the selections, I assuredly should have noticed it and regarded it as a tactless warning of immediate death to us all and one likely to create a panic that our special efforts were directed towards avoiding... (File size: 13 MiB, PDF, 366 pages)


 1 file(s)  60 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility (a novella, for smartphones)

The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility by American author Morgan Robertson is said by some to have foretold the RMS Titanic disaster. The similarities between fiction and reality are eerie indeed. The ocean liner in Roberton's novella was named Titan. It also sank in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg in the same month of April. And to think that this book was published in 1898 — 14 years before the RMS Titanic met its doom. (File size: 119.6 KiB, EPUB format)


 1 file(s)  16 downloadsCategory: Literary Works, Maritime History and CultureDownload

SHIPS, SEA SONGS AND SHANTIES

First published in 1910, Ships, Sea Songs and Shanties is a real treasure trove. This 1913 edition contains some 80 songs compiled and annotated by an English master mariner, William Boultbee Whall (1847–1917). The illustrations by his niece, stainglass artist Veronica Whall (1887–1967), are in themselves a prize art collection. Anyone who wants to learn more about shanties and sea songs should have a copy of this book. (File size: 8.3 MiB, PDF, 143 pages)  


 1 file(s)  46 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

The Story of Titanic

The Story of Titanic provides essential facts about the ship, its technical features, and the characteristics of icebergs like the one that sank the ocean liner. It explains, amongst other things, why not more lives were saved during the rescue. This illustrated reference material was published by The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, Maryland, as an activity guide for teachers and has some suggested science exercises for students to try out. However, the information is so well presented that this guide should interest all Titanic history buffs. (File size: 1.1 MiB ,PDF, 48 pages)  


 1 file(s)  8 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Introduction to Sail and Rigging Types by Martin Hendry (illustrated)

Introduction to Sail and Rigging Types is a 28-page iillustrated guide to the world of sailing vessels courtesy of National Historic Ships UK. It provides a brief description for each sail and rig type and some colour photos. This is a useful reference for sailing enthusiasts and those who love marine art and photography but don't know the difference between a sloop and a catboat. (File size: 2.2 MiB, PDF, 28 pages) See also Principal Parts and Sails of 19th-Century Sailing Ships.


 1 file(s)  52 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

The First Voyage Round the World, by Magellan

This is a must-read for all maritime history aficionados. The First Voyage Round the World, by Magellan is about the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan's westward voyage from Spain in 1519 round South America to the East Indies. Although Magellan was killed in Cebu, the Philippines, one of his ships sailed back to Spain to complete the first circumnavigation of the Earth. This book was translated by Lord Stanley of Alderley from the accounts of the Italian chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, and other contemporary writers. (File size: 13.6 MiB, PDF, 361 pages)    


 1 file(s)  70 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Haul Away Joe (shanty, MP3)

Haul Away Joe was sung by sailors when they pulled on ropes to raise or lower the ship's sails. This sprightly sailors' work song is courtesy of the Maritime Museum of San Diego in California, USA. It is part of the museum's Voyage of Hope Sea Chanteys collection (File size: 1.0  MiB, MP3, 1:46 mnutes)


 1 file(s)  61 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Homeward Bound / Goodbye Fare Thee Well (shanty in MP3)

Homeward Bound, also known as Goodbye Fare Thee Well, is a capstan shanty performed by sailors when lifting anchor at a foreign port to begin their homeward voyage. Other versions of the song may have slightly different lyrics depending on the locale, but the tune has not changed over time. This musical file is courtesy of the Maritime Museum of San Diego in California, USA. It is part of the museum's Voyage of Hope Sea Chanteys collection. (File size: 1.2  MiB, MP3, 2:12 minutes)


 1 file(s)  73 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Spanish Ladies (an old British naval song, MP3)

Yet another version of Spanish Ladies, a traditional British naval song that dates back to the late 1700s. This one is from Roger McGuinn's "The Folk Den Project". (File size: 3.6 MiB, MP3, 3:09 minutes) This song is published on this website under a Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


 1 file(s)  63 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Banana Boat (Day-o) by Harry Belafonte (MP3)

Banana Boat (Day-o) by American singer Harry Belafonte is a traditional Jamaican song about dock workers loading bananas onto ships at night. Daylight comes, and they look forward to the arrival of the Tallyman, who will take inventory, so they could go home. This is a digitised version of the original single recorded in 1955 by Belafonte with Tony Scott's Orchestra and Chorus. (File size: 5.2 MiB, MP3 format, 3:10 minutes) See also Roger McGuinn's version of the same song, Day-o


 1 file(s)  2073 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Leave her, Johnny (shanty, MP3)

Enjoy this old shanty (sailors' work song) which is said to have been sung before the end of a voyage when all hands would disembark. This version is performed by Roger McGuinn, best known as the frontman of the American rock band, The Byrds, with accompaniment by John Sebastian. (File size: 4.9 MiB, MP3, 2:41 duration)  This song is published on this website under a Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


 1 file(s)  170 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Whiskey Johnny (sea shanty, MP3)

This rollicking, down-to-earth sailors' song was recorded in 1939. It is from the Library of Congress Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center, in Washington, DC. The performers were Alex Barr, Arthur Brodeur, Leighton McKenzie and Leighton Robinson. (File size: 5.3 MiB, MP3, 2:17 minutes) DISCLAIMER: Marine Café Blog is not promoting the drinking of alcoholic beverages. It is sharing this sea song as part of the world's maritime heritage.


 1 file(s)  76 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Great Open Sea (sea shanty, MP3)

Enjoy this rousing song performed by New Zealand's Wellington Sea Shanty Society. The W.S.S.S. is composed of a two-man tempest of pure shanty, Vorn Dont le Père Etait Marin and Lake Davineer. They have been belting out traditional sea songs since 2012 to the delight of sailors and landlubbers. (File size: 6.2 MiB, MP3 format, 2:55 minutes)   NOTE: This musical file is published on this website under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US licence    


 1 file(s)  94 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Drunken Sailor (a popular sea shanty, MP3)

Listen to one of the most popular shanties (sailors' work songs). This version of Drunken Sailor also known as What Shall We Do with a/the Drunken Sailor?is by The Irish Rovers, a group of Irish musicians formed in 1963 and renamed The Rovers in the 1980s. (File size: 3.7 MiB, MP3 format)  


 1 file(s)  330 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Sea Shanties (MP3 format)

Sea shanties or traditional sailors' work songs are part  of the world's maritime heritage. The five a cappella shanties contained in the file are from the London-based English Folk Dance and Song Society. They are in MP3 format, which is perfect for listening on your smartphone. (File size: 7.0 MiB, zipped file containing five songs in MP3 format)


 1 file(s)  84 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload

Sinking of the Titanic by Thomas H. Russell

This is a gem of a book. Published in 1912 shortly after the RMS Titanic sank, it is a riveting account of what really happened. The horror the survivors went through is described in chilling detail, as in this excerpt from the book: The women in the lifeboats saw their loved ones plunge to death. The survivors' boats were bobbing along in the waves all within a radius of half a mile of the great Titanic, when, with a roar and burst of spray, it settled and passed out of sight for the last time. (File size: 26.8 MiB, PDF, 353 pages)


 1 file(s)  181 downloadsCategory: Maritime History and CultureDownload