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What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor? [Paperback]

Douglas Morgan


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Book Description

May 2002
Compiled and annotated by a longtime Naval officer and author of the acclaimed thriller Tiger Cruise, this unexpurgated collection of genuine sea chanties is not for small children, but it's an unrestrained look into another side of military life and literature.

Sung for as long as sailors have gone to the sea in ships, chanties helped to make shipboard tasks easier and to pass the time on years-long voyages. Each generation of sailors adapted the songs to their own needs and cultures, forming an unbroken link from the nuclear-powered navies of today to the age of sail.

Annotated with explanations of Naval terms and life--including some of the bawdier parts of a sailor's life--What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor? is a delight for both history and music buffs, as well as an offbeat gift for people with naval backgrounds.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Swordsmith Productions (May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931013098
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931013093
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.3 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 163 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,975,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Publisher

Douglas Morgan spent many years in the Navy before finishing up his doctorate and turning to--among other things--a writing career, and he's still never far from the sea, at least metaphorically. There have been many collections of sea chanties, but very few of them print the chanties the way they are actually sung, or put them into the context of the Naval and maritime traditions in which they are created. Every one of these songs was actually sung at sea, on the ships where Douglas Morgan served. His marvelous annotations lay out the background, people, terms, and places that the songs celebrate, as well as showing how they still fit into today's Navy. Despite Doug's academic background, his annotations aren't dry commentaries on dead folklore; they are filled with jokes, intra-service barbs, variant songs, bizarre people, and everything else readers need to understand--or relive, for fellow sailors--what is still a vital, growing body of music, sung in hundreds of variants on hundreds of ships to this day.

About the Author

Douglas Morgan spent years in the US Navy first as an enlisted man, and later as an officer. Along the way he sailed every major body of water where the US Navy can fit a ship, picked up an incredible amount of folklore--very little of which can be printed in family-oriented publications--and an advanced degree in English literature. He is the author of Tiger Cruise, a military thriller involving Indonesian pirates who hijack an American destroyer carrying nuclear arms. He could tell you more, but then he'd have to kill you.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A serious (but not sober) look at the unprintable literature of life at sea June 25 2005
By T. Nielsen Hayden - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Sometimes scholarly, frequently charming, and never fazed, this annotated collection of sea songs ranges from favorite old traditional subjects (girls left behind, diseases picked up from same, Liverpool crimps, larcenous NYC trollops, accounts of seduction entirely told in shiphandling terms, etc.) to more modern topics (the arrogance of officers, the travails of service on destroyers, and the perennial unlovability of Gitmo).

Doug Morgan is a born storyteller, and has the sensibility of a defrocked academic who's spent a lot of time hanging out in low dives. He can explain high lit, arcane history, and dirty 19th C. double entendres, not to mention why so many songs about naughty ladies mention Baltimore (the rhyme is irresistible).

Buy this book. One way or another, it'll be an education.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Naughty but informative Oct. 15 2005
By John M. Koss - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The unexpurgated lyrics to many familiar sea shanties. Just what

you'd expect from sailors, (or 14 year old schoolboys). But the

real highlight of the book is the explanation of the jargon used, origins,and history of the songs. Also, some nice illusrtations. For the scholar and neophyte alike.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and educational! Nov. 4 2005
By J. Plunket - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a well written and amusing book, not only because of the unexpurgated lyrics, but also due to the many tidbits of information and anecdotes provided by the author. It is a little on the short side, but we can only hope for a sequel.
5.0 out of 5 stars What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor? Unexpurgated Sea Chanties April 19 2012
By Fred - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At last a book in which the text of chanteys get as close as can get how they are sung.
And I also like the the explanation of rather unused words in the today language.
It is a pitty that Stan Hugill and Frederick Pease Harlow never trusted them selfs to also write down these shantytexts in the great books they wrote about the subject.
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