I was treated to the singing of a shanty, The Wellerman, on Willowdot21’s blog yesterday morning: https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2021/02/03/whats-on-my-music-radar-today/. It’s a great song and it got me to thinking – just what is a shanty? So I looked it up: a shanty is a song with alternating solo and chorus, of a kind originally sung by sailors while performing physical labor together.
Being a child of the 60s (the peak time for popular folk music) , the shanty I know the best is called Eddystone Light, which has been sung by the Seekers, the Weavers, Burl Ives and the Brothers Four. It is a whimsical tale of the Eddystone Lighthouse.
The Eddystone Lighthouse is located on the dangerous Eddystone Rocks, nine miles (14 km) south of Rame Head, Cornwall, in England. The rocks are submerged below the surface of the ocean, and thus have been major hazard to ships for centuries.