The shanty was heard in all manner of pop-up locations such as pubs, post offices, cafes, at community events, in day centres and on the streets of Portland. Sung by different constellations of singers & musicians the song has been enjoyed by people of all ages such as when the children’s choir sang for the residents of Foylebank Court care home in Portland on Sept 7th. You can see a range of video clips taken in various locations here.
SAILING FOR GOLD was played and sung live for a couple of BBC Radio Solent programmes (Big Dorset Brunch & the Jullian Clegg Breakfast Show) and at Wessex FM studios.
and…if by chance you heard an a cappella recording in a taxi cab or cafe you may have found yourself singing along. CDs were playing in these places (and still might be, if you ask)
O where have you been to and where are you going?
Up top, down under, down beach, over brow
Up Tout, out Bill, she’s gone along now
On Sept 8th the song was encountered by over 70 people on a wonderful walk ‘songlines’ led by Lyn Cooch from Wild about Weymouth & Portland where we strolled through gullies, past tumbled rocks and tipping bridges out onto the coast path. Lyn’s knowledge of Portland’s unique quarrying past and rare wildlife illuminated the path and was echoed by relevant verses of the shanty…sung insitu or heard from a distance carried by the wind… singing Portland up from the ground– telling local stories through song.
A ‘songline’ is a form of vocal mapping, people of many cultures worldwide use song to describe where they are, to find their way round. In the UK place names are often navigational positions; for intance here in Portland we have Tophill, Underhill, Weston, Easton, Southwell and so on
Back at the Drill Hall more people joined us for a ʻbring and shareʼ celebration of food and song where the stone lithophone created by the Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust took central stage.
As if that wasn’t enough! the evening turned out to be an amazing crescendo to our celebratory day. Bumping into Juliet Harwood earlier in the week when we were ‘pop up’ singing in Dorchester Market led to us being invited to sing SAILING FOR GOLD at Weymouth Bay Methodist Church along with two wonderful choirs – Quangle Wangle of Weymouth and Bristol’s Gasworks Singers… the full bodied vocal power of over 100 choral singers was incredible, thank you Juliet.