Grab your peacoat and call your pal Ishmael, because the Stoughton Sea Shanty Society is getting together for a night of maritime folk singing at Roxy’s Restobar on Tuesday, March 14, at 7 p.m.
For those landlubbers who aren’t aware, sea shanties are maritime work songs that were sung by laborers aboard merchant sailing vessels to the rhythm of their tasks. You may know them best from cartoons or movies about adventure on the high seas.
Some quick virtual aerial reconnaissance reveals that Stoughton, Wisconsin, is landlocked and quite far from the nearest seaport. However, Roxy’s Restobar, a Drink Wisconsinbly Dive Bar, is situated along the Yahara River, so perhaps there is a network of waterways that allow navigation from Boston and New York, and a dock large enough to park a four-masted carrack.
The good news is you need neither singing ability nor maritime experience to join the chorus. And, in these modern times, the physical labor to accompany the singing of sea shanties is limited to lifting a drink, so if the threat of rigging sails or swabbing the decks is the only thing holding you back, you needn’t worry.
If you’re reading this missive as you sail around the Horn in pursuit of spices and textiles from the east and can’t make it to Stoughton in time, the group gathers the first Tuesday of every month, so you can share your voice and tales of adventure upon your return to dry land. Songbooks are provided. We were unable to confirm whether there will be rum specials at the event by press time. Parrots must remain on captains’ shoulders at all times. No bloodthirsty pirates allowed.