ISBN 978-1-935243-79-3 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-935243-78-6 (hardcover)
Songs and stories about seafaring have a timeless and universal appeal. These songs, drawn from recordings and archives of Maine singers and collectors, tell powerful stories of sailing, fishing, storms, shipwreck, piracy, sea battles, and loved ones left at home. An invaluable resource for scholars, with its detailed notes, bibliography, and source index, this collection is also a treasure for musicians, with melodies, complete lyrics, and historical background for every song.
Janie Meneely, Musician, promoter, journalist (former editor Chesapeake Bay Magazine)
Pick this up, you won’t put it down. Whether you’re a singer or just a lover of lore, you’ll find herein a fruitful feast of ballads and broadsides, some familiar (with a local twist), some wholly new, and all with deftly written notes as to the history behind them. A labor of love as ever you’ll find, this volume reflects years of meticulous research into the annals of Maine’s “songstory,” with song after song brought to light (and life) along with detailed information as to its origins and evolution. What a gold mine of material! Every Maine music teacher must have a copy! Send one to the teacher nearest you! Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee have managed to corral an exhaustive list of songs into a volume that’s readable and user-friendly.
Stuart P. Gillespie Jr., Composer, choral director, Maritime Historian and singer at Mystic Seaport (1972–85)
A profoundly significant and scholarly contribution to the world of folk song, this book should be read by anyone who is interested in the traditional music of rural America. In-depth and clearly presented, these Anglo European folk songs are expertly collected, written and exhibited by folk singers and researchers Julia Lane and Fred Gosbey. This book exhibits a treasure trove of painstakingly collected folk songs that have migrated from Anglo Europe to Maine. The song examples are artfully presented and shown in the context of the culture from which they come.
Stuart P. Gillespie, Jr.
Van Reid, Award-winning author and creator of The Moosepath League, Viking Press
[This book is] the result of extraordinary detailed transcribing and deciphering of songs rescued from obscurity in an all but forgotten archive. The songs are then illuminated by Julia and Fred’s long, deep study of the music and history of the state of Maine and the British Isles… It is filled with surprises and delights. I know it will certainly delight lovers of music and of Maine.
Stephen Sanfilippo, Ph.D. Maritime History, educator, performer, author & editor
One of the very best books on historic songs of the sea. There are many such books, but few achieve such a high level throughout, with such attention to musical detail and such precise writing. The lengthy introduction itself is invaluable to anyone interested in historic music, the sea, and Maine.
Pauleena MacDougall, Ph.D., Former director Maine Folklife Center, author & editor
Not since Joanna Colcord published Roll and Go in 1924 have we seen such a comprehensive compilation of songs from the sea as this one. Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee have brought forth not just the songs, but so much important contextual information, such as a map of the location of singers, the source of the song, the melody to which the song is sung, and editorial notes that compare songs with other known versions, or similar songs known by different names. This is a book that will be a treasure to singers, but also to folklorists, ballad scholars and historians. The authors have exceeded their goals to create a song book. They have created a volume that will stand proudly on library bookshelves next to books by Phillips Barry, Fannie Eckstorm, Joanna Colcord and other ballad scholars.