Frederick Pease Harlow – The making of a sailor (1928)

Frederick Pease Harlow – The making of a sailor

First, I would like to thank my mentor, teacher, and (I dare to say it publicly for the first time) my friend, from the United States, Simon Spalding for recommending and introducing me to Frederick Harlow who wrote this great work. This book is a real treasure for shanty enthusiasts and the times of ironmen on wooden ships. You can put this book in the same row with such works as “The Merchant Vessel” by Nordhoff. or Richard Dana’s “Two Years Before Mast”.

This is simply a sailor’s diary, detailing the life of a sailor, with shanties intertwined in the plot. Real descriptions of the deep sea sailor profession, his life on the sea and onshore. This book is best read together with Frederick Harlow’s second book “Chanteying Aboard American Ships”. Both complement each other perfectly. The first describes works where shanties were used, and the second is a huge collection of them. Finally, it is worth adding that many of the greatest shanty singers point to both Harlow’s books as one of the main sources of their repertoire and knowledge about shanties.

Do you want to be more involved?

You can find excellent records of sea shanties here. If you want to discuss this book or share your opinion you can do it in my Facebook forum here, or below post in the comment section.

Related to The making of a sailor

Harpers Monthly Magazine (1882)

Jerzy Wadowski – Piesni Spod żagli (1989)

Jim Mageean – Heave Away (2020)

Leave a Comment