Bounding Main is a crew of veteran environmental theater performers with the love of music and the sea in their blood. Performing together since 2003, they preserve the Elizabethan Sea Dog look in their costumes and gear, singing sea shanties and maritime ballads from 400 years ago through today. Bounding Main shows are filled with spirit, humor and harmony; their arrangements of traditional nautical music bring the listener into the world of pirates, adventure and romance.
Bounding Main's home port lies in the Western Great Lakes region (Chicago and Milwaukee), and they regularly perform for maritime and tall ship events, cultural and music festivals, pirate-themed gatherings, at museums, aboard tall ships and at corporate functions. Give them a listen, and you, too, will join the ranks of the Bounding Mainiacs.
We didn't put liner notes in the jewel case for Maiden Voyage, but if we had these would be them:
Mingulay Boat Song (Hugh S. Roberton)
We re-recorded this song for "Maiden Voyage." This song was arranged for all of us to use our strengths; men together, women together, duets and choruses. Paired into couples during the verses are Jon & Maggie, Dean & Christie and David & Gina. We added a round near the end, just because we could and it sounded nice. We frequently hear reactions to this song like the one below and it makes us very happy and proud.
"I was listening to your CD in the car with my husband and we got through the first song when he hijacked the CD player and said, " I want to hear it again!" (and again and again . . .) Just thought you'd like to know.
"Someday I'll play the second song for him!"
— Jessica Don
Lead singer for Seelie Court
Pump Shanty (Tony Goodenough)
Tony Goodenough wrote "Pump Shanty" and performed it with The Shanty Crew. This song was introduced to us via Pint & Dale at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. William and Felicia came to Bristol Faire via their friend, Kat Eggleston. Tony recently wrote to us with his blessings for us to use his piece. Filled with double-entendres the song is fun on all levels, and the rhythm gives you a feeling for the nature of the work aboard a tall ship.
Fiddler's Green (John Conolly)
Dean sings to the concertina accompaniment of our friend David HB Drake. This song has long been a favorite of Dean's and it was an honor for him to perform it for Bounding Main.
The version that we sing has evolved from the original, both to accommodate the Renaissance motif (jumpers were sweaters invented no earlier than the 1800's, for instance) and through simple folk-song /renaissance faire mutations.
"Ahoy, Bounding Main ! have just discovered your website and have been enjoying listening to your version of my song 'Fiddler's Green' . . ."
- John Connolly
Legendary Folk Musician
Pay Me, You Owe Me
Jon goes wild on this piece! We had so much fun recording this song, adding voices and percussion to the background. David HB Drake stepped in and gave us a hand with castanets while Dean shook the tambourine, Pretty Boy David knocked sticks, Maggie struck some other wooden objects together and Christie added her virtuoso kazoo, while Gina lead us in the chorus.
Sailor's Prayer (Rod MacDonald)
Rod MacDonald's song was re-recorded for this CD. This was a ballad of strength and unity with a marvelous chorus. Rod was kind enough to grant us permission to use this song, and we put our own touch to this piece. Previously arranged by Jon Krivitzky for his efforts with Mosaic Whispers, the arrangement that we performed was influenced by his earlier work and also flavors acquired by versions performed at local renaissance faires. We really enjoyed this arrangement and we hope you do, too!
Another manly tune sung by David Yondorf. His amazing voice propels you along on this journey between icy north waters and the bliss of the tropics. Jon's arrangements for the accompaniment are very beautiful.
A Rovin' (Amsterdam Maid)
We added this song to the CD at the last minute. This is normally one of our audience participation pieces, but with Maggie's help it became a fun piece here, too. The version compiled by Stan Hugill had so many verses it could go on for days! Dean shortened the verses to accommodate the size of our group and put in a definitive closing line.
Blow the Wind Southerly (John Stobbs)
Maggie discovered this song and brought it to Bounding Main. This is an amazingly sweet tune that our girls have down to a science of harmony. Maggie's heartfelt performance speaks for the wives of the men who work at sea. Gina and Christie's beautiful accompaniment makes this song a treasure. It is not to be missed.
This is another favorite around the Bristol Renaissance Faire crowd. It has an audience participation piece in the chorus for "Ocean Waves Do Roll" and "Stormy Winds Do Blow." Let the Bounding Mainiacs, our stalwart fans, show you how! We did a version of this song on "Casting Off," but re-recorded it for "Maiden Voyage."
Derelict (Young E. Alison)
Everyone loves pirates, and what better song than Derelict to give an audience all of the expected "Yo-ho-ho's" that they long to hear? David Yondorf's amazing voice carries all of us through this piece. Maggie never fails to be amazed that David has never sung professionally before working with Bounding Main. Heather Lewin's fiddle helps us turn this song into an appropriately spooky piece. The arrangement for this song is our own, but we were inspired by The Jolly Rogers' "Yo Heave Ho" in the last verse and it fit well with our background vocals. This song was re-recorded for "Maiden Voyage."
Leave Her, Johnnie
Leave Her, Johnnie is homeward-bound shanty and is normally sung by the men preparatory to landing. It is an opportunity for the crew to complain about the officers, the food, the ship, the pay and fellow sailors. We arranged Leave Her, Johnnie to be the voice of the women waiting for their sailor men to return to them — a Calling Home Shanty, if you will. We think we may well have turned this into a love song! This is one of our most popular pieces, which we newly recorded for this CD.
"When Bounding Main sang "Leave Her, Johnnie" it darn near brought me to tears — and the rest of the set was just as good."
— D. Keith
Bristol Renaissance Faire Patron
Health to the Company
This song was recently selected for the closing of the Bristol Renaissance Faire, replacing Jerry Spurlock's "Bring on the Starlight".
"This is a traditional Irish/Scottish parting song. It's common to the Canadian Maritimes, too." — From the Cantarea web site.
Sea shanties are sometimes called sea chanties. The singular is sea shanty or sea chanty.