Work Songs Of Land & Sea: Past & Present
American Heritage Series
Participatory Programs For All Ages
Tom's extensive repertoire includes songs and stories of: the mines, railroads, farms, factories, mills, lumbermen, building trades, prisons, etc. Sea chanteys were used to coordinate a variety of cooperative tasks on shipboard. Examples from the fisheries, merchant-marine, and whaling industries will be included. Many of the songs are participatory, and a bodhran (traditional Celtic frame drum) is used to set a cadence with its primal sound. Histories of the songs' uses are explained, and choruses are taught.
Physical participation includes the use of a student-operated prop capstan, to raise a small anchor on-stage. Other student-volunteers raise and/or furl a simulated sail via halyard and/or bunting chanteys. Participatory sea songs employ choruses sung by mariners, past and present; fo'c'stle ballads recall the days of wooden ships and iron men. Instrumental selections, using a variety of string, wind, and percussion instruments, get the feet tapping and the hands clapping.