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Round Cape Horn

Round Cape Horn (Topic TSCD499)

Round Cape Horn
Traditional Songs of Sailors, Ships and the Sea
Various Artists

Topic Records TSCD499 (CD, UK, 1998)

Compiled and produced by Tony Engle
Tracks 9 and 10 issued under licence from Free Reed Records


  1. Ewan MacColl: Round Cape Horn (Roud 4706; Henry H539) (2.44)
  2. Roy Harris: The Royal Oak (Roud 951; G/D 1:40) (2.03)
  3. Louis Killen: As We Were A-Sailing (Roud 492; Laws N4; G/D 1:180) (3.29)
  4. Roy Harris: Captain Ward (Roud 224; Child 287; G/D 1:39) (3.45)
  5. Peter Bellamy: Warlike Seamen (The Irish Captain) (Roud 690; G/D 1:41; Henry H560) (2.50)
  6. A.L. Lloyd: Farewell Nancy (Roud 527; Laws K14; Henry H755) (2.46)
  7. Frankie Armstrong: Maid on the Shore (Roud 181; Laws K27) (4.10)
  8. Roy Harris: The Dockyard Gate (Roud 1739) (4.17)
  9. The Watersons: The Still and Silent Ocean (3.53)
  10. Cyril Tawney: Roll Down (3.49)
  11. Ewan MacColl: The Bold Richard (Roud 1351) (1.55)
  12. Roy Harris: The Spithead Sailor (2.02)
  13. Mike Waterson: The Man o’ War (Roud 662) (2.51)
  14. Frankie Armstrong: Lovely on the Water (Roud 1539) (2.18)
  15. A.L. Lloyd: Short Jacket and White Trousers (Roud 231; Laws N12) (1.57)
  16. Roy Harris: The Royal Charter (Roud 3327) (2.56)
  17. Ewan MacColl: Homeward Bound (Roud 1104) (3.34)
  18. Mike Waterson: Bye Bye Skipper (1.02)

All tracks trad. except
Tracks 9-10 Peter Bellamy

Tracks 1, 11 and 17 are from Ewan MacColl: The Manchester Angel (12T147, 1966)
Track 2 is from Roy Harris: The Bitter and the Sweet (12T217, 1972)
Track 3 is from Louis Killen: Ballads & Broadsides (12T126, 1965)
Tracks 4 and 16 are from Roy Harris: Champions of Folly (12T256, 1975)
Track 5 is from Peter Bellamy: The Fox Jumps Over the Parson’s Gate (12T200, 1969)
Tracks 6 and 15 are from A.L. Lloyd: First Person (12T118, 1966)
Tracks 7 and 14 are from Frankie Armstrong: Lovely on the Water (12TS216, 1972)
Tracks 8 and 12 are from Roy Harris: By Sandbank Fields (12TS327, 1977)
Tracks 9 and 10 are from Peter Bellamy’s Ballad Opera The Transports (Free Reed FRDD021/022, 1977)
Tracks 13 and 18 are from Mike Waterson: Mike Waterson (12TS332, 1977)

Note: As there are no track sources listed in the CD sleeve notes, I got the most probable sources from the wonderful Complete Topic Records Discography by Mike Brocken, Alistair Banfield & Rod Stradling. In cases of doubt I took the oldest recording I could find. Of course, all remaining errors are mine.

Sleeve Notes

Perhaps the most well-known type of song associated with the sea is the shanty—a functional work-song whose purpose was to make hard group labour somewhat easier and, at least, co-ordinated. There are, however, plenty of other traditional songs associated with the sea and its sailors. In some cases these might be forebitters, sung by sailors in their off-duty hours on board to provide some kind of entertainment for an otherwise hard life. There are also many other songs about various aspects of sailing life that have become part of the traditional singer’s repertoire.

This collection is drawn from the great body of recordings made by Topic Records between the 1960s and 1990s. The singers are all among the most outstanding of the great British Folk Music Revival and the songs have the strength and rugged beauty of a full-rigged sailing ship with a following wind, man and nature in harmony.