“April Showers” Sailors’ Songs of Rain, Squalls & Tempests

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - - - 7:00 PM

“The storm has passed safely out to sea.” Have you ever heard that? If so, don’t believe it. As we too well know, a storm passing from land to sea is anything but safe. Ashore we have to deal with the storm’s back and flood surge. Those at sea face the greatest perils; blinding rains, squalls, and the fury of the tempest. “April showers” can bring “May flowers,” but they also bring danger to those who live and work beside or on the water.

     On Wednesday, April 16th, the Pembroke Library’s monthly Chantey Sing, led by “From Away Downeast,” America’s Easternmost Chantey Group, will look at “April Showers” from the view of seafarers and shore folk. The program will range from “In This Windy Old Weather,” where fish take over a schooner, to “Master, the Tempest is Raging,” in which faith supplies strength to face life’s storms. Several of the songs are Downeast in origin, including “The Brave Seaman,” a life-saving song written in 1928 by Kathleen Clark, then a student at Pembroke High School, “The Old Spartell,” written in 1919 by James Doran, Sr., of Lubec, about the loss of the schooner Spartell in a Gulf of Maine gale, and “Land Lubbers Lay Down Below,” a version of “The Mermaid” sung at Maine lighthouses in the 1920s by the family of lighthouse keeper Vinal Beal.

     The April 16th Chantey Sing will start at 7:00 PM. Admission and refreshments are free. Donations to the Library are appreciated. The Pembroke Library is located at 221 Old County Road, across from the horse track and fair grounds. For information and directions call 207-726-4747 or 207-726-4745, or email seasongs@207me.com .