The Ameland Shanty choir is a very active singing group, busy singing and collecting shanties since 1986. From this group there is an LP "Het Amelander Shantykoor vaart uit", a CD "Met de wind in de zeilen" on the occasion of its10th anniversary, and the double CD "20 jaar Amelander Shantykoor" on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. You can also see and hear the choir on the DVD "Stormy Weather".
What are Shanties?
Shanties are real sailor songs that were sung aboard sail ships from the 17th and 18th century. These songs had a special purpose: they somewhat had to light up the hard work and they had to rhythmicly do the work that had to be done together at the same time. In fact you could say these are "elementary worker songs at sea".
There were shanties for all kinds of jobs:
Besides those there were other shanties, such as the so called "Forebitters" (fspare time songs). Many of these songs have been made by sailors in the course of time. Also, many of the melodies were derived from songs they picked up in harbour pubs all over the world.
Ameland has a rich maritime past, especially in whale fishing. That's why it is not a surprise that especially on this island this music is so popular and sung with feeling for the sea and the sailor. Their enthusiasm and sailor songs that are easy on the ear give you the feeling of being aboard an old sail ship from days of yore.