Derina Harvey Band - The Last Shanty

Published on 01 Jun 2024 / In Music

Please enjoy our version of Tom Lewis' "The Last Shanty".


Well me father often told me when I was just a lad
A sailor's life was very hard, the food was always bad
But now I've joined the navy, I'm aboard a man-o-war
And now I've found a sailor ain't a sailor any more
Don't haul on the rope, don't climb up the mast
If you see a sailing ship it might be your last
Just get your civies ready for another run ashore
A sailor ain't a sailor, ain't a sailor anymore
Well the killock of our mess he says we've had it soft
It wasn't like this in his day when he was up aloft
We like our bunks and sleeping bags, but what's a hammock for?
Swinging from the deckhead, or lying on the floor?
Well they gave us an engine that first went up and down
Then with more technology the engine went around
We know our steam and diesel but what's a mainyard for?
A stoker ain't a stoker with a shovel anymore.
Well they gave us Aldiss lamp so we could do it right
They gave us a radio, we signaled day and night
We know our codes and cyphers but what's a semaphore?
A bunting-tosser doesn't toss the bunting anymore
Two cans of beer a day and that's your bleeding lot
Now we get an extra one because they've stopped the tot
So we'll put on our civie clothes and find a pub ashore
A sailor's still a sailor just like he was before

Led by their fearless front-woman Derina Harvey, this five-piece Celtic-rock group offers a fresh take on traditional tunes and intersperse that offering with their own original jigs and reels. Their infectious rhythmic undertow is layered with rock guitar, dizzying fiddle motifs, and topped by Derina’s powerful voice. These transplanted east-coasters have earned a reputation with their high-energy live show, leaving many an audience out-of-breath and hollering from the dance floor!

The band has proven to be a crowd-pleaser wherever they go. Though the band is based in Alberta, 2015 has seen the group travel across the country, with three trips to Newfoundland to their credit where they have entertained crowds at theatres, festivals, and pubs. They have been featured twice on the main stage of George Street Festival in St. John's, once opening for NL favourites Shanneyganock. Most recently, they have shared the stage with other east-coast favourites such as Jimmy Rankin, The Irish Descendents, Pogey, and even some rock acts including The Trews, Kim Mitchell, and Trooper.

The band continues to build on a growing fan base by promoting their self-titled debut album (released in 2013). The record has garnered radio airplay in multiple regions in Canada (CKUA in Edmonton; K-Rock and Radio Newfoundland in St. John's, NL; CBC, Canada-wide). Their second album entitled "Rove and Go" (released May, 2016) has already gotten airplay on over 30 community and college radio stations across Canada.

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