The Ballad of Gowanlea
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In keeping with, but unaware of, the largely improvised nature of sea shanties and their main purpose as working songs, this song was hastily written and recorded in one afternoon and in one take at the end of a songwriting workshop. So with no time for rehearsal, it is suitably rough and raw. It may fall short as a respectful tribute to VC-awarded skipper Joseph Watt and the crew of his "wee Gamrie boat" for their deeds during the Battle of Otranto Straits in May, 1917. Watt didn't see himself as a hero, and never talked about the action over the subsequent 38 years of his life. I'm not sure he would have appreciated this 'dogged' ditty.
For full info on the battle and the part played by HM drifter Gowanlea see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_...
First published on 5 Jul 2017. Edited on iMovies.
(p.s. Penan, where 'Local Hero' was filmed -- see 'A Land's a Land" -- is only a few miles along the coast from Watt's Gamrie/Gardenstown home.)
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