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Robert Palomo | Widows on the Shore

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Folk: Sea Shanties Folk: Fingerstyle Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Widows on the Shore

by Robert Palomo

So you think sea shanties are man-centric? And that those that do sing about women are only about 'loose' women? Too often true. But here's a shanty modeled on traditional style that looks at life during the age of sail from the women's perspective.
Genre: Folk: Sea Shanties
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1. Widows on the Shore
4:50 $1.00
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Album Notes
If you think about it, the traditional sea shanties and songs that have survived to modern times are pretty exclusively man-centric. I got to wondering about the songs the women left behind in the maritime towns and villages might have sung as they went about their work while their menfolk went to sea. If any such songs have survived, they're not many and certainly obscure by comparison.

If you know anything about the age of sail, you know that the sea exacted a high cost in the lives of men and boys who never returned to their beloved womenfolk, leaving behind wives, daughters, sisters, aunties, sweethearts and so on. I got to thinking that the loss of so many of their loved ones might well have been something that women of those days would have sung about. And so I tried to imagine a sea shanty type song from that point of view, taking some inspiration from Kipling's "Captains Courageous", among other things. I hope there's something in it for both women and men.

This one is dedicated to the memory of my paternal grandmother. She was a linguist, scholar, pianist, children's poet, world traveler, and gourmet cook. In many ways she was 50 years ahead of her time. In other ways she was left behind on the shore. But she quietly taught me to enjoy cooking good food, to speak Spanish, and she encouraged me to explore music and be myself.

Title image cropped from 'A Hopeless Dawn' by Frank Bramley, 1888.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
{{PD-US}} Public Domain in the United States (and other countries).



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