Thursday, 7 June 2012

Feminist sea shanties and music for the people

'Before I die one thing I crave
To round the Horn on a microwave
' (Pat Wilson, Housework Shanty)

Cleaning, date rape, pubic hair,career vs kids dilemmas, shopping: they're all there with heave-ho choruses, in the highly amusing sea shanties that feminists appropriated in the 1970s and 80s.

Catch my illustrated talk on this genre at an exciting Un-Convention on Sat June 27 2012. A women's choir will accompany it, singing the songs sailor boys never did as they rounded Cape Horn and crossed the Spanish Main singing of rum, yella gals and Spanish ladies, terrible storms and Bucko mates.

Un-Convention is a radical and innovative international organisation that aims 'to bring together like-minded individuals to discuss the future of independent'.

In the past three years alone 'Un-Convention has happened 35 times around the globe, in over five continents,and from Swansea to Sao Paulo.It annually involves 1,500 artists and bands, 16,400 participants, 36,000 gig goers and 140,000 people online. Of those attending Un-Convention, 40% of people are from disadvantaged backgrounds.'

This month on Sat June 27 2012 Un-Convention(36) is at Teesside in Middlesborough, North East England. Hosts are Shipyard Songwriters, a collective of songwriters, musicians and other artists interested in exploring how songwriting can be used today as a positive force for change.

If you want a taste of a (funny and astute) women's reworking of a feminist shanty listen to Sisters Unlimited's song, Childbirth's no Bed of Roses. You can do so via

No comments: