Violin I part from What do you with a drunken sailor?

Traditional Sea Shanty
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page one of the Violin I part from What do you with a drunken sailor?
This music has been transposed from the original key.

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Full details

’What do you do with a drunken sailor?’ is a capstan shanty, sung by the sailors as they turn the capstan to raise (weigh) the anchor. In the well-known words (not provided in this arrangement) the words ’Weigh, hey, and up she rises’ refers to the weighing (hauling up) of the anchor and it rising from the ocean floor.

In this arrangement, listen to the methodical beat at the beginning as the ship weighs anchor, the ebb and flow of the waves as the ship takes to sea, some rather large swells (making it not too pleasant for a drunken sailor!), and finally the return of calmer water.

BTW, the well-known lyrics generally refer to some rather severe punishments, e.g., "Give him a kiss from the Captain’s daughter" is being whipped with a cat-o-nine-tails, but not to the point of falling down or passing out. "Stick him him in bed with the Captain’s daughter" means being whipped with the "cat" so severely, that the sailor passes out from pain or is unable to stand and must be confined to bed until he recovers. "Give him a kiss from the Gunner’s daughter" refers to being tied over a cannon while being whipped with the "cat."

This well-known sailors’ song was arranged for background music to be played at the annual Navy Birthday Ball at NAF, El Centro in October, 2007.

If you enjoy it, please visit my web store at: where you will find more than 200 arrangements and scores (mainly for string quartet).

Traditional Sea Shanty
3 minutes
Folk music and World music
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