Secret Treasures

By Kit Staton
Published: February/March 2012

A musicologist in love with the sea picks his favorite versions of some terrific songs on our playlists.

Here are the links to some songs that would be my preferred versions – songs selected for their purity of merit. Also, I urge you to explore YouTube to see some wonderful live performances of all the songs here, as well as on our master list; it will be an hour well spent, especially on a cold winter's night.


"The Lee Shore,"

 by Crosby & Nash, from "The David Crosby Box": iTunes (song title is #39 in album song list). Bonus: Check out this priceless YouTube video of a 1970 BBC performance:


 by Poco, from "Bareback At Big Sky": iTunes (song title is #5 in album song list).

"The Hills of Isle Au Haut,"

 by Jody Stecher (a Gordon Bok song), from "Going Up On The Mountain"; this version is wonderfully full on the choral parts: iTunes (song title is #12 in album song list).


 by Mustard's Retreat, from "The First Album Plus": iTunes (song title is #4 on album song list). An iconic performance of the same song was performed by Paul Robeson, from "Paul Robeson: The Complete EMI Sessions (19281939)": iTunes (song title is #88 on album song list).


 by Richard Shindell, from "Live at The Chandler Music Hall, Randolph, Vermont (11/11/06)": iTunes (song title is #5 on album song list).

"The Mary Ellen Carter,"

 by Stan Rogers, from "Between The Breaks… Live!": iTunes (song title #4 on album song list). Bonus: Here's another version, perhaps not as strong, of that song, but it's preceded by a not-to-be-missed video of a ship-disaster survivor talking about how "The Mary Ellen Carter" kept him going. Check this out:

"King Mackerel & The Blues Are Running,"

 by The Coastal Cohorts, from "King Mackerel & The Blues Are Running: Songs & Stories of the Carolina Coast (Original Cast Recording)": Amazon MP3.

"Gulf Coast Blues,"

 by Erik Von Schmidt, from "The Bluesville Years, Vol. 7: Blues Blue…": Rhapsody. The link for this great old song is to Rhapsody, not iTunes or Amazon. To buy the song, you'll have to sign up for a free trial with Rhapsody. Or, you can just listen for free without signing up.

"Natchez Whistle"


"Let Him Go On, Mama"

 by John Hartford:

This is a YouTube video of the late, great John Hartford in a very interesting PBS interview that would pair nicely with "Natchez Whistle": iTunes (song title #3 on album song list); and "Let Him Go On, Mama": iTunes (song title #16 on album song list), both on Hartford's album "Me Oh My, How The Time Does Fly." And here are two YouTube performances of the Lady herself blowing her steam whistle:

(good for the distance visual);

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Online Extra

Buoy icon The Boating Playlist:
 Boats and music have always been inseparable. Now, in the era of the digital cloud, it's easier than ever to match the perfect song to a good day on the water. So, let's take a musical journey — from folk, to seafaring, to classic, to indie, to, well, wild! Get ready to rock with our best boating playlists.

Buoy icon Technology For Your Tunes:
 Here's what you need to know about all the ways to get tunes aboard your ride.


Extended Playlist 1

Song - ArtistAmazon iconiTunes icon
Rolling Down to Old Maui - A.L. LloydCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Fundy Line - Bucky HalkerCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Shantyboatin' - Cindy Kallet, Ellen Epstein, and Michael CiconeCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
The Lee Shore - Crosby & NashCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
On a Day When the Wind is Perfect - David Wilcox & Nance PettitCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
The Sloop John B. - The Dicey Doh SingersEmpty box iconCheckbox icon
Song Of The Volga Boatmen - Don Cossack Choir, Soloist: I. BeresoffEmpty box iconEmpty box icon
26 Miles (Santa Catalina) - Four PrepsCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Western Boat - Gordon BokEmpty box iconEmpty box icon
The Hills Of Isle Au Haut - Jody StecherCheckbox iconEmpty box icon
Let Him Go on, Mama - John HartfordCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Bull Gine Run - The Starboard ListCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Island Style - Randy LorenzoCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Mutineer - Rob LutesCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
If I Had a Boat - Lyle LovettCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Barbados - PocoEmpty box iconEmpty box icon
Boots of Spanish Leather - The Seldom SceneCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Chesapeake Born - Tom and Mark WisnerCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Into the Mystic - Van MorrisonCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Northwest Passage - Stan RogersCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Danger Down Deep - RCA Symphony Orchestra & Charles GerhardtCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
King Mackerel and the Blues are Running - The Coastal CohortsEmpty box iconEmpty box icon
Arran Boat Song - Anne RoosCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Ready for the Storm - Cindy Kallet, Ellen Epstein, and Michael CiconeEmpty box iconCheckbox icon
Dredgin' is my Drudgery - Tom and Mark WisnerEmpty box iconEmpty box icon
The Jeannie C. - Stan RogersEmpty box iconCheckbox icon
Three Fishers - Nathan RogersCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
To the Last Whale… Critical Mass/Wind on the Water - Crosby & NashCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Mingulay Boat Song - Richard ThompsonCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Drunken Sailor/South Australia - Dust RhinosCheckbox iconCheckbox icon
Out on the Rolling Sea - John Roberts, Frederick McQueen, Joseph SpenceEmpty box iconCheckbox icon
Rolling Sea - VetiverCheckbox iconCheckbox icon


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