Profs & Pints Annapolis: The Tale of Sea Shanties-Door tickets remain available

By Profs and Pints (other events)

Tuesday, January 25 2022 5:30 PM 8:00 PM EDT

Advance ticket sales have ended but plenty of additional tickets remain available at the door.

Profs and Pints Annapolis presents: “The Tale of Sea Shanties,” with Jessica M. Floyd, scholar of sea shanties during the Great Age of Sail. 

[Talk attendees will be required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test from the previous 72 hours and will be asked to wear masks except while seated and eating or drinking.]

Get ready to climb aboard the pop-culture craze that is the singing of sea shanties with a newfound understanding of the rich history of songs sung by working sailors. Profs and Pints is landing at the Graduate Annapolis hotel with the perfect talk for a boat-loving port city, a rollicking look at the songs that sailors sang while working at sea.

Your captain on this scholarly voyage will be Jessica Floyd, an associate professor of English at the Community College of Baltimore County who has extensively researched and analyzed sea shanties, especially those sung during the period from 1500 to 1860. She’ll discuss their history, what they tell us about relations aboard ships and the culture of the time when they were sung, and how they’re fascinating cultural objects through which we can encounter sensations of frustration, longing, and desire.

She’ll describe how authentic shanties were a genre unique to the merchant sailing man during the Great Age of Sail, and she’ll teach us how to differentiate shanties from drinking songs and pirate tunes. Being work songs of the sea, shanties were sung in connection with specific tasks. They were complex and, often, provocative. 

To help us get a better understanding of what shanties communicate, Professor Floyd will analyze the narratives of popular shanty tunes, looking at what they say about the sailors’ identity. You’ll hear the lyrics of “Barnacle Bill” or the phrase “Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum” in an entirely new light.

Finally, she’ll examine why shanties are experiencing such a resurgence now, against the backdrop that is the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll gain an appreciation of not only their enduring quality, but how they attach to specific human experiences. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, or $13 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)