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Fridge on the Bridge (of Atyla)

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In May of 2014 I had a great time playing banjo and singing with Saint Petersburg's "Shanty Choir Mir" at the SCF Black Sea Tall Ships Regatta while the ships were in port at Sochi, Russia. The group was originally supposed to bunk aboard the Mir but some late-breaking changes in availability necessitated other arrangements.

Well, the silver lining in that cloud turned out to be the beautiful Spanish wooden schooner "Atyla" ( They had only the crew aboard, and they cheerfully welcomed our 9 piece music group. Good move I guess, because we held our rehearsals on deck while the ship was open for public visiting. Our sea shanties attracted rather a LOT of attention for the ship! The jolly young crew (the captain was only 25!) lavished us with paella, tortilla de patatas, and sangria. One of the crew lavished certain attentions on our pretty young fiddler-ess, which were reciprocated if absence at rehearsal counted for anything. Woo hoo - ain't sailing life grand!

As to the song title, I was sitting in the big aft cabin one sultry evening with fellow shanty chorister Peter D. We were discussing where we might get a really cold drink, and one of the crew said, "Oh, we've got a fridge on the bridge with some really cold water"... which proved to to be the case. Then Peter, damn his piratical English soul, had to go and say, "Fridge on the bridge. That sounds like a song!" After which I couldn't rest until I'd done something with it. And rest was in mighty short supply to begin with!

Well, it was a joy to get to speak some Spanish again, and all in all, definitely one of the most amazing musical experiences of my life. You can never repay such generous and genuine hospitality. The best I could do was to write this song especially for the Atyla crew. ¡Mil gracias, amigos, y muchos viajes felices!


There’s… a… fridge on the bridge of the good ship Atyla
Sing Ho! for the captain and crew
From… the… fridge on the bridge of the good ship Atyla
They gave us refreshing cold brew
So we sang thru the night ‘neath the stars and moonlight
Our whistles kept wet as the blue…

Sing Ho! for the fridge on the bridge of Atyla
Sing Ho! for the captain and crew of Atyla
1. Here’s an old sea song we wrote just for you...
2. We made this old sea song special for ye…
3. This song is your song that we want you to hear…

Oh… the… night it was hot, the sangria was not
Sing Ho! for the captain and crew
The… fiesta was long with much good cheer and song
Afloat on the waters so blue
In the port of old Sochi, thru the warm starry noche
Spinning yarns, singing songs of the sea…


Once… we… called for our fiddler on the deck of Atyla
Sing Ho! for the captain and crew
To…. dance to her fiddle on the deck of Atyla
Inspired by the bridge fridge’s brew
But she could’na be found, that young lass disappeared
Nor could we locate the chief engineer…


May it cheer ye on far waters blue!