Shanties from the Seven Seas (Maritime) - Stan Hugill

A thick, wonderfully comprehensive and informative book. Not only does Hugill include a huge repertoire, but he is very good at explaining how they were used, ways of singing, ways of working. Good at making the technical aspects of sailing somewhat comprehensible. Even includes a glossary. There's so much background information that I'm enjoying just reading through it.

Two things bother me: one, that Hugill altered and disguised all "obscenity" in the source material. It would have been better to leave it as a historical documentation; after all, readers mostly won't be performing this in public, and they can pick and choose what to sing if they do. (In contrast to what a modern writer would be tempted to do, Hugill didn't tone down the racist aspects at all, in fact even unselfconsciously used slurs in his own notes.) Secondly, in the case of a couple of Scandinavian and German pieces he includes, he gives an English translation fitted to the tune, but doesn't print the original. I'd rather have the real thing, please.