Sunday, August 16, 2015

Party on a tanker? Yes, if it's PortSide NY's Mary A. Whalen.

A week ago PortSide New York, headed by my friend Carolina Salguera, played host to a weekend long festival aboard their historic coastal tanker Mary A. Whalen. I went on Saturday afternoon, when a folk music sing-along was scheduled.
Leading the singing were A. Heather Wood and Jerry Korobow of the Folk Music Society of New York.
Two macaws were among the visitors aboard.
Off in the harbor a fireboat was making a display of spray.
Looking aft, I saw cranes of the Red Hook Container Port and the skyline of lower Manhattan.

We sang some folk music chestnuts like "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and labor songs like "Solidarity Forever" and "Union Maid." At my suggestion we did a couple of sea shanteys, "New York Girls," as performed below by Steeleye Span, with assistance from Peter Sellars on ukulele and verbal commentary,
 

and "Haul Away Joe," which I'd learned first from the Kingston Trio, then from the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.
 

Heather and Jerry led us in a version of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" with which I was not familiar:



As I left the party, I took this photo of Mary A. Whalen's wheelhouse and funnel against a sunset sky: