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Sea Shanties of the 70s, 80s and Today!

by Wellington Sea Shanty Society

A sailor needs a boat A sailor needs a beer I’m on the hunt for both The bloody cost of living here! Hey ho with the sand as a pillow Curse your sails as they billow. Hey ho I’m a hard working fellow Land locked with an eye on the morrow! Taught me all I know The great majestic sea But look at what I got to show Look at what’s become of me Done a stint across the ditch Cap’n drove us to the brink t’was us who made the bastard rich I’d love to push him in the drink I’ll tell you bout a dream I have Where I can stay afloat In it I’m a jolly lad Then I wake up in his moat.
Blow wind and crack your cheeks (Hand over hand and shoulder to shoulder) I ain’t seen land in fifty weeks (My hands getting slow and my bones getting older) Spent half my life across the line (The bones of my brothers at the bottom of the ocean) Staring back at the wake that boils behind (“Brother come down and join us”) Hand over hand and shoulder to shoulder My hands getting slow and my bones getting older The bones of my brothers at the bottom of the ocean Sing out, “Brother come down and join us” Sing of the girl I left on shore Though I can’t remember her face no more But I hear her voice when a warm wind blows It beckons me down to the depths below Hand over hand and shoulder to shoulder … Heave-ho and break your back Work your skin to the bone while the boss gets fat In the deep I dwell with the ones I love Staring back at the fools that toil above Hand over hand and shoulder to shoulder … (× 4)
Chorus Do it for the love of family Do it for the heart in all it’s pain Do it for the weight of every day Do it for the mates at sea Flee the dirt Heed the call Leave the echo City walls Grip the wheel Wait the night We are kindred Side to side Know the stars Know the breeze Know the open Hallowed seas Take it deep Straight and true We are ancient We are few Ocean deep Blue and vast We are fleeting Not the last
Sailing 02:46
Whaling 04:39


They say some things never leave us. They’re always there, just out of reach, between sleep and dreams. Between the foreshore and seabed. The plaintive moan of a bachelor seal. The treasure we never found. The life we never led.

But fear not sweet hearties – the Wellington Sea Shanty Society (WSSS) are back from exile with a swag bag of forgotten futures! Secrets given up by the sea in the form of ‘Sea Shanties of the 70’s, 80’s & Today!’ (their new EP).

Each song a mysterious oyster lovingly shucked by the likes of Vorn dont Le Père Était Marin, Lake Davineer, Nick De La Mer, Thomas Un Copa and long time shanty foes ‘The Salty Wailers’. (Quarter) mastering by Mike Gibson.

These new shanties were committed to memory (human and digital) in the earthquake-prone bowels of an empty Wellington office block. A windswept shelf overlooking a dark harbour – what better place to prize joy from salty oblivion?

Lin Seal | Wellington Nautical History Monthly


released August 30, 2022

Mastering - Mike Gibson
BVs - The Salty Wailers
Mixing advice - Joshua Lynn


Some rights reserved. Please refer to individual track pages for license info.



Wellington Sea Shanty Society Wellington, New Zealand

Aotearoa New Zealand's Most 'Sea Worthy' Shanty Group™

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