recess radio program

06/16/06
Father's Day, At Sea
    by John Cech

Brief Sound Clip:

That's Dan Zanes, Barbar Brousal, and Cynthia Hopkins with the sea shanty "Strike the Bell" from the CD, Sea Music. It's another tour de force for Dan Zanes and his talented ensemble of friends, and it's just right as a serenade for the dads in your household, napping and dreaming in the hammock this Father's Day. A few of these fourteen folksongs from America, the Carribean, and the British Isles are classics -- like "Shenandoah" and the "Sloop John B." But most are long forgotten goldies from the 19th century, ditties about mermaids and talking herring, fishermen and the children of fishermen, like the Cape Cod kids in one of the songs who "ain't got no sleds ... [and] slide down ... dunes on codfish heads."

For a number of years now Dan Zanes has been adding new old songs to the family music repertoire in this country, and we owe him a deep, national thanks for bringing this music of our past back to us and our children in the present -- it's exciting, fresh, unprocessed, always heartfelt, and often sublime. Just listen some summer Sunday afternoon to Sea Music and these songs that were once sung aboard ships powered by sails, sung to make the time and the back-breaking work go more easily, sung to buck up spirits and soothe homesick souls.

Brief Sound Clip:

Copyright 2006 John Cech

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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."