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on 14 May 2015
it's an ok book full of info but heavily biased towards the usa
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on 8 September 2010
This is the definitive book of Sea Shanties and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in this area. It containing a vast collection of tunes, including different variations and sets of lyrics that were used. Most importantly you get a real sense that the author has lived and worked on board a ship, many of the shanties are those that Stan Hugill learnt directly from sailors and sang himself while at sea. There is usually at least a paragraph of background on each shanty, and the book also contains many fine illustrations by the author showing scenes aboard ship.

If I have one small regret it is that Stan felt unable to publish the full uncensored lyrics to some of the 'racier' shanties, and instead on several occasions omitted or 'disguised' verses, usually to remove the most overtly sexual parts. To be fair, this probably reflects the fact that the book was originally published in the earlier 60s rather than any failing of the author, and Stan is at least open about the places where he has made alterations giving anyone really interested the opportunity to use their imagination to restore the shanty to its original bawdy state!

Overall the best book that is ever likely to be written on the subject, and a fascinating read for anyone interested in folk music or maritime history.
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on 25 February 2004
Two books combined - it's partly a straigh-forward song book containing a massive number of songs in standard notation with all the verses written out, and partly a book about the history of the sea shanty. Anyone who sings this kind of music also loves to know the history behind all the songs and this book supplies plenty of it.
Contains some great drawings, and also the music itself is presented in an attractive hand-written style. I'd thoroughly recommend this book to anybody interested in shanties, or folk music in general.
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on 27 October 2009
This book is a must-have for all those interested in songs of the sea. Not only does it include a huge proportion of the sea shanties commonly sung today but it gives fascinating insight into the origins and purposes of the songs. Stan's illustrations are delightful.
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on 20 June 2015
The most comprehensive book on sea shanties and a must for any enthusiast whether singer, listener or scholar. Where did they come from, who sang them, how old are they, what are the different versions? All this and much more is in this book, plus tune notations.
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on 24 March 2013
a great reference book for the subject and the details give all the alternative lyrics that aren't always available. Many songs that I'd not come across before.
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on 6 July 2014
What an interesting read and resouce to delve into I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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on 1 January 2016
Great book, has loads of songs and a wealth of information.
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