“A Sailor’s Garland” by Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1962Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

As they did back in 1957, Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd deliver another solid set of sea songs and shanties, Ewan taking lead vocal on 9 of them, A.L. Lloyd doing so on the other 9. Just over half of the songs are sung a capella, the rest with Alf Edwards (concertina) and/or Dave Swarbrick (fiddle).

A great version of “Haul Away For Rosie”, primarily sung a capella by Ewan MacColl, is the highlight of side 1. Of this tune A.L.Loyd wrote: “This was a favourite short-drag shanty, used almost exclusively for hauling aft the foresheet or sweating-up halyards to take in the slack—jobs that called for a short pull but a good 'un. Well-known both to Briths and American seamen on the Western Ocean run, it is first-cousin to the better-known Haul Away, Joe. The tune carries a whole anthology of verses, some decorous, others not.

Similarly wonderful on side 2 is the rhythmic “Little Sally Racket”, primarily sung acapella by A.L. Lloyd who wrote: “This tops'l halyard song was said to be so very British that it was 'frowned upon aboard American ships'. Yet many versions have a firm Negro ring to the melody.

The albums greatest treasure lies with “The Leaving Of Liverpool”, a true classic in the Ewan MacColl catalogue. Of this one, A.L. Lloyd wrote: “W. Doerflinger got this nostalgic song from a well-known shanty singer, ‘Captain’ Dick Maitland, who learnt it from a Liverpool man when he was bosun on the General Knox about 1885. It seemed to have disappeared from its own home town, but since Doerflinger printed it, it has taken a new lease of life, and is now not infrequently heard in the city folk song clubs.

In the hands of these men, the old art of the sea shanty is expertly handled, opening up the sub-genre to new musical adventurers.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:09] 5.8.png Ewan MacColl - The Sailor’s Alphabet (Traditional) Folk
A2 [01:40] 6.3.png A. L. Lloyd - Bold Riley O (Traditional) Folk
A3 [02:46] 7.8.png Ewan MacColl - Haul Away For Rosie (Traditional) Folk
A4 [02:22] 6.0.png A. L. Lloyd - Nancy Of Yarmouth (Traditional) Folk
A5 [02:27] 6.7.png Ewan MacColl - Tom’s Gone To Hilo (Traditional) Folk
A6 [01:53] 5.7.png A. L. Lloyd - Sally Brown (Traditional) Folk
A7 [02:27] 6.1.png Ewan MacColl - The Dockyard Gate (Traditional) Folk
A8 [01:45] 7.0.png A. L. Lloyd - Hilo Somebody (Traditional) Folk
A9 [03:57] 7.1.png Ewan MacColl - The Dolphin (Traditional) Folk
B1 [03:09] 5.6.png A. L. Lloyd - Trim-Rig Ducksie (Traditional) Folk
B2 [01:17] 7.5.png Ewan MacColl - Little Sally Racket (Traditional) Folk
B3 [01:51] 7.0.png A. L. Lloyd - Gal With The Blue Dress On (Traditional) Folk
B4 [05:17] 9.4.png Ewan MacColl - The Leaving Of Liverpool (Traditional) Folk
B5 [00:58] 6.4.png A. L. Lloyd - Bring ’Em Down (Traditional) Folk
B6 [01:36] 6.9.png Ewan MacColl - Hilo John Brown (Traditional) Folk
B7 [02:43] 5.6.png A. L. Lloyd - Short Jacket And White Trousers (Traditional) Folk
B8 [01:56] 6.4.png Ewan MacColl - The Blackball Line (Traditional) Folk
B9 [02:42] 6.2.png A. L. Lloyd - General Taylor (Traditional) Folk

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