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Author Topic: Squeezing at sea  (Read 2394 times)

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911377brian

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Squeezing at sea
« on: October 04, 2012, 01:41:15 PM »

Seeing Strigulino's post 'Theme of the Month

, Nautical Tunes' where she mentions the late great Cyril Tawney's 'Chicken on a Raft' made me wonder how many Melnetters had occupied their business on great waters. My only recollection of a button box at sea was a concertina that seemed to spend most of the commision on B gun deck with its works exposed, drying out. Never heard it play a note....
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syale

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Re: Squeezing at sea
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2012, 01:58:28 PM »

I was in the RN for 13 years. Unfortuneatly I never played the accordion (wish I had). I never seen an accordion in all my years on multiple ships (4). Plenty of guitars. Perhaps the close confines of a tin box makes it hard to practice with messmates that may not be tolerant to the wonderful tunes they hear.
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terry

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Re: Squeezing at sea
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2012, 02:02:52 PM »



Above is a picture taken at Lagos Marina, on the 34ft yacht called Champy.

We called in to top up supplies during a trip from Tunisia in about 2008 I think.

Also too the box with me when we crewed the Tall Ship, The Lord Nelson, from Liverpool to Canary Islands in November of the same year.

Terry (:)
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Strigulino

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Re: Squeezing at sea
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2012, 03:22:19 PM »

While the stereotype is of sea shanties being played on a squeezebox, I doubt very much if they got taken to sea all that often.  Far too damp, and the tropics would probably be far too hot as well.

That said, a carefully stowed squeezebox may well have been played on ship.  I've seen stranger things on the Grey Funnel Line.  The Long Armed Singer, for one.
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Squeezing at sea
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2012, 05:27:58 PM »

D'now about ships, but I did the Shropshire Union on a barge back in 1989. Took my melodeon (and a concertina) and had a simply fantastic session in a pub half way up with an old beardy guitarist - who seemed to be the last genuine "bargee".  It was also my introduction to blues on the box .. we just 'went for it' :|glug

Concur with the warning about playing in high humidity in the tropics :-\ but don't think 'shanties' were ever accompanied? Are we thinking of 'forebitters'?
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Jinkers1

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Re: Squeezing at sea
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2012, 05:42:50 PM »

Well, my sea time (1977 - 1979) was spent in a frigate, which didn't leave spare room for much of anything, let alone a melodeon.  Also, we ended up in very hot and humid weather for extended periods of time, which wouldn't have done much good for the health of the box.  All in all, a mouthie would have made the most sense, plus no heartbreak if it got broken or stolen.
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Matthew B

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Re: Squeezing at sea
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2012, 05:43:27 PM »

My dad told me he saw Bob Roberts playing and singing on a Thames sailing barge back in the fifties.  Mind you, the Old Man was a bit of a story-teller, so you never know. 
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Sage Herb

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Re: Squeezing at sea
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2012, 06:26:02 PM »

Several of us have taken our squeezeboxes to sea on Thames barges every year for the last 15 years or more. No damage has been recorded, but then again it's (sadly) only a week's chater each year.
Steve
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Ebor_fiddler

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Re: Squeezing at sea
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2012, 07:48:54 PM »

1) Bob Roberts and his box were inseparable.

2) A mate of mine from Hull is learning the D/G concertina while at sea.

Chris.
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Matthew B

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Re: Squeezing at sea
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2012, 08:51:26 PM »

1) Bob Roberts and his box were inseparable.

Well now if one of the stories is true any of the stories might be true. 
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Howard Jones

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Re: Squeezing at sea
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2012, 09:26:02 AM »

While the stereotype is of sea shanties being played on a squeezebox, I doubt very much if they got taken to sea all that often.  Far too damp, and the tropics would probably be far too hot as well.

That said, a carefully stowed squeezebox may well have been played on ship.  I've seen stranger things on the Grey Funnel Line.  The Long Armed Singer, for one.

Dan Worrall's article on the concertina at sea is interesting reading.  Dan's interest is concertinas, but it is apparent that all sorts of instruments were taken to sea, and it is probable that this included squeezeboxes of all types.

http://angloconcertina.org/concertina_at_sea.html

Dan is an indefatigable researcher into the history of the concertina and his papers and publications are well worth reading as an insight not only into the instrument but the social contexts in which they were played.

Both concertina and melodeon have been taken up by the Inuit and it seems possible that they were introduced to them by sailors.
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