Tune of the Day: Drunken Sailor
Also known as “What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor?”, this is one of the best known of all sea shanties. Such work songs were the only ones allowed in the Royal Navy, and were often sung when raising a sail or raising the anchor.
The melody of this song, which as you may notice is in dorian mode, was taken from a traditional Irish dance and march tune, “Oró Sé do Bheatha ’Bhaile” (translated as “Óró, you are welcome home”). Many versions of the song exist, and its modal melody has suffered many a change.