Victoria Nautical Song Circle
JOIN THE CREW!
The Crew of the Victoria Nautical Song Circle "musters" every two weeks for a friendly session of sea songs. No special training, equipment or information is required. There is no membership fee or application form to fill out. Apply for and maintain your "membership" with your voice and your feet! We're rather informal and not too snooty, so bring:
- Your voice and your interest
- Maybe a wee notepad to jot down some info
- Somone may have some copies of songs they're introducing or working up though it might be an idea to check out:
- We are fairly adept at learning a song you simply choose to sing even if you don't have lyric sheets to handout.
- Feel free to bring a tape recorder or recording device to capture some tunes and words, also be prepared to leave it off if someone present requests, just ask first..
Suggested Circle Format
A suggestion or two to help the circle feel like a comfortable place for everyone:
- Everyone gets a turn to sing, lead a song, request/suggest a song or pass. It seems fair for this to be an opportunity to be passed around the circle.
- If there is a "host" they will probably facilitate this a bit. Whether there is host or not everyone may help this process with suggestions or encouragement. After all everyone can sing or is there to hear something they like.
- If you help someone get a tune started, please let them carry on with it, you needn't 'help' all the way through, it's their turn.
- The default behaviour for the last decade at the VNSC is chorus songs are lead with the rest of the gathering coming in on the refrain or chorus unless invited by whomever's turn it is for all to sing along on all of the song. Songs without a chorus may be sung solo or with everyone mucking in, if invited. (Behaviour at our sister song circle, the Victoria Song Circle, tends to be the reverse, with all singing every word unless someone choses to lead a song at their turn and states so.)
- Please use instruments with awareness. They may enhance your song or dance (hornpipe anyone?), may in fact be your contribution that time around. Will playing along fit with in with someone else's song? Possibly. Generally ask first as a cappella singers may not be used to or wish an instrument, nor may the song have an even tempo. Please be aware that "noodling" between songs will often prevent non-carrying/using folk (instruments that is) from starting a song. They're being polite, so, please remember your instrument has a "voice" too and be polite with it. Thanks.
- Some folks sing using a book or sheet lyrics, you probably have or will too. Please, no criticism of someone who may use notes to lead a song. Since we're all there to have fun maybe think participation vice performance!
- If lyrics are available (a quick visual way to learn the words to the chorus) yet it's a led song, please don't bury your head in the words. It may be aide de memoire for a job you don't have, leading the song. Please give the singer the courtesy of listening and participating appropriately.
- One doesn't have to sing a song, especially a shanty (a work song, remember) exactly the way it's depicted in one book or other source. Overall we tend to sing faster than a reasonable work speed.
- One needn't feel obligated to sing all 27 verses of a song, which may make you weary, maybe others as well.
- Whoever is leading - their version is the way we're singing it. There probably have never been any totally "correct" or single ways of rendering a given shanty except for maybe one or two particular ones, (ie "Dead Horse" - couple of versions there for that matter) or for a given shantyman, crew, ship or vessel line. This includes having a listen to how someone sings the chorus before we overlay it with the tune pattern familiar to us.
- If you're visiting we absolutely love to hear and hear about varients, one night having three versions of the Greenland Whale Fishery sung.
- Have fun! Thanks!
For more info or to put your name, number and e-mail on our contact list e-mail JD (John D.) Erskine. Please remove the bit in all CAPS.
Also bookmark our Victoria Nautical Song Circle main page, check back for updates re time, date and venue on the "Sailing Orders" page and VNSC - Pusser's Stores for lyrics, sources and links.
Victoria Nautical Song Circle