Issue: December 2003
Nicely Done

A folk diva reissues a collection of G-rated maritime favorites.


Folk musician Caryl P. Weiss arrived in the Annapolis area a few years ago, rolled up her sleeves and began writing songs about the happenings on the Bay waterfront. A singer/songwriter veteran of such venues as the Philadelphia (Pa.) and Kerrville, Tex., folk festivals, she presented a song for the schooner Sultana at her launching in Chestertown. She wrote a ditty for the schooner Woodwind (you can hear it on their website) and another for the local Irish rowing team. A CD with these stellar works (and others) is in the offing, she says. But in the meantime, to help defray the production costs of this latest endeavor, she has reissued an oldie but goodie.

    Nautical But Nice is the result, she says, of her being pressed by elementary school teachers to produce a collection of maritime songs that they could actually play for their students. Understand that maritime music has a tendency to be at least off-color, if not downright lewd and crude, which makes it a difficult topic for music teachers to tackle on school time. Weiss rose to the challenge and produced 16 squeaky clean tracks straight from the mariners’ canon, leading off with “Sam’s Gone Away.” Gems like “Blow, Boys, Blow,” “Paddy, Lay Back,” “Cape Cod Girls” and “Strike the Bell” follow before she closes with “Leave her, Johnny.” For those not already in the know, a brief liner note explains the difference between, say, a capstan and a pump chantey.

    Nautical But Nice can be had for $15 (plus $2 for shipping and handling; Md. residents add 5 percent sales tax) from Caryl P. Weiss, P. O. Box 1685, Annapolis, MD 21404.