The Tars performed a packed programme of songs to a welcoming and appreciative audience, with some fine acapella singing, tuneful musical accompaniment, deep harmonies and rousing, interpretations of traditional shanties. There were songs about various sailors, some more famous than others, named Nelson, Paddy and Johnnie and a tale about a lad named Willie and his sweetheart Nancy. There were also songs about ladies named Sally, Dinah, Irish Kate and Madam Gashee and some unnamed ladies from Spain.
There were songs in praise of worthy ships named Alabama, James Craig, Kathleen and May, a Carribean sloop and the sad tale of the wreck of the Ellan Vannin and of the tragic loss of the Penlee lifeboat.
There were songs about runs ashore in New York, Cobh and Baltimore, tales of wrecking in Cornwall, whaling in Greenland, smuggling (and drinking) of French wine in Scotland and of a rowing trip to a very remote, now uninhabited Hebridean island.
The Tars took their audience on a global musical journey from Bere Ferrers to Plymouth then on via the Eddystone to the Scottish isles. Then turned west for Ireland, north to Greenland and continued on down to Maui, Cape Horn, the Rio Grande and New York before ending up in a fisherman’s paradise.
An exhausting voyage was brought to a fine conclusion with a rousing rendition of an old music hall classic in praise of real ale and the landlord.
Our thanks to the RNLI and the Maritime Inn for inviting us along and we look forward to seeing the Plymouth lights again later on this year. With a bit of luck, nautical readers, ex-sailors, retired fishermen etc. may be able to work out the titles of the songs from the clues given above.