The iconic singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell once said of her classic song The Circle Game, "This song isn't good with just one lonely voice." That's also true of sea shanties and other maritime folk music.
But shanty singers have always been in short supply where I live, and with the Great Plague of 2020 and Beyond, the situation got even worse. A virtual group was clearly going to be the only viable option.
Unfortunately, this music is a niche genre if ever there was one (at least until January 2021), and singers willing to sign on to a some old coot's shanty crew are few and far between - as the group I finally put together proves.
And so, in a time of storm at the butt-end of the Baltic, the maritime folk group The Stormy Dan'ls was spawned.
In unprecedented times of Social Distancing, distance is definitely the best way to work with these scurvy wharf-rats. The more distance the better. Don't ask to book us. There are no plans to tour. Ever.
We will, however, entertain lucrative offers to keep quiet.
Through some perverse accident of birth in widely scattered locales, as improbable as integrity in politics, every member of this crew is named Dan'l.
Was he ever incarcerated in the famous Devon prison? If he was, odds are he was never officially released. If he wasn't, it's a definite lapse on the part of the British authorities.
In any case, he's not telling and it seemed wiser not to press the matter too far.
Found tranquilly floating on the Baltic in a rubber raft, he really belongs in a rubber room. Claims he was paddling home across a Tahiti lagoon after a few mai-tais at the local Tiki bar, and took a wrong turn.
Well, he does sing tenor. More or less. In such times, one takes what one can get.
Dredging bottom was certainly what I did when I signed him. Gaslighter extraordinaire, with rare talent for dragging things through the muck. Because, in a fetid sort of way, he reminded me of certain aspects of my native shores - I took him on. Already I regret it.
He sings the lowest part, of course.
The name says it all, folks.
In such times, one takes what one can get.
DISCLAIMER: The consumption of tobacco and alcoholic beverages are depicted in this video. However, no tobacco or alcoholic beverages were actually consumed by anyone during the shooting. Post-production was another matter entirely.