A Watery Adventure: “Come, All Ye Young Sailormen”
"Come, All Ye Young Sailormen" is a sea shanty or a song related to fishing or the sea. This sea shanty is a fisherman's song, which probably originated from Scotland.
The shanty doesn't have an exact or documented origin. Sea shanties are mostly considered as a folk song or informal songs used by fishermen and ordinary folk as a way of entertainment or learning while working around ships and harbors. In this piece, the sea shanty is mostly Scottish in origin and informal. The informality is evident, looking at the word choice and the setting. Like the text, there is also no prescribed tune or melody for sea shanty or this piece. Often, singers will use a tune they know to sing the text for delivery.
The piece is concise, with three verses. For every stanza, there are only two lines. There is also a short refrain with two lines. "Come, All Ye Young Sailormen" is mostly a narration or a tale of the singer about his experiences or adventures. The first line is a call for others to listen to him, engaging them to listen to his tale with a little effort in musicality. The singer describes the background of the story, particularly the direction. The chorus details the journey going in a southwestern direction, with the help of the winds. The tale develops in the second stanza, where the singer introduces a whale and its actions towards the ship. The whale brings in the element of danger and conflict in the narration. The third stanza adds the presence of a mackerel, "with his strip-ed back." Like the whale, the animal was described, and its actions narrated. Like the whale, the mackerel is there to add to the danger of sailing in the seas. The shanty ends with the refrain.
In terms of narration, the sea shanty provides a snippet of experience about sailing and maritime experience. It doesn't have to be a formal conclusion, unlike many structured songs.