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Vaughan Williams on Music$
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David Manning

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195182392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195182392.001.0001

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Sailor Shanties

Sailor Shanties

(p.215) Chapter 41 Sailor Shanties
Vaughan Williams on Music

David Manning

Oxford University Press

The art of the folk singer, like all true art, is essentially un-self-conscious—the artistic result is not openly sought, but comes, as it were, by accident. In the same way the sailor, with the object of improving the quality of his work, has invented the “shanty,” and it is these that Dr Richard Runciman Terry now has collected into a book. Modern developments in machinery have destroyed the original purpose of the shanty, but like the tithe barn, the church, and the castle, they remain for the people as works of art, and it is as works of art, and that only, that one must now judge them. If they are merely of nautical or antiquarian interest, then their proper place is the library of the folklorist or the marine expert.

Keywords:   folk singer, sailor, shanty, Richard Runciman Terry, works of art

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