Miskatonic University Monograph: The Curious Sea Shanty Variants of Innsmouth Mass.

Miskatonic University Monograph: The Curious Sea Shanty Variants of Innsmouth Mass.

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The second of our series of academic papers published by Miskatonic University Press in 1927, The Curious Sea Shanty Variants of Innsmouth, Mass. combines erudite scholarship by Miskatonic's own folklorist, Prof. Albert Wilmarth (Ph. D.) and musicologist Carlton J. Connolly (A. Mus. D.).

Following the wave of sea shanty scholarship which began in the early 20s, Dr. Connolly happened upon a hospitalized Innsmouth sailor and from his very hospital room transcribed the unique lyrical variations to traditional shanties once sung by sailors in the isolated seaport of Innsmouth, Mass.

Dr. Connolly's scholarship explores the unique themes and perspectives of Innsmouth sailors as they sang songs to coordinate their work on Innsmouth's great sailing ships of the 19th Century. These lyrical themes and motifs provide a fascinating window into the culture of this isolated community. Dr. Wilmarth expands on this insight, examining the maritime history of this community which has gone from a thriving seaport to a derelict shadow of its former glories. Dr. Wilmarth even recounts his field-work in Innsmouth in an effort to gain first-hand knowledge of the community.

Ten years after Dr. Connolly's untimely passing, the Miskatonic Department of Music set out to honor Dr. Connolly by recording the Innsmouth shanties for the first time. Hear the Miskatonic Connolly Memorial Men's Choir sing Innsmouth variants of shanties such as: What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor, Spanish Ladies, Blow the Man Down, and many more performed in the style of New England's proud maritime tradition.

The monograph is 5.5 x 8.5 inches, saddle stapled with a high quality cover depicting a unique piece of scrimshaw from Innsmouth. Full-colour oversized maps of Marsh shipping routes form the centerfold. The companion compact disc features fourteen songs, performed by professional singers and boisterous shantymen with traditional accompaniment. See comments from real customers at the bottom of this page.

Click here to enjoy a free sample shanty of "Innsmouth Sailor".
Hear other samples in the Track Listing below.

If you do not want the fascinating and delightful academic monograph and just want the CD or download, click here. Want to even more Innsmouth fun? Consider our Innsmouth combo with this, Tooth of Dagon and more!


TRACK LISTING (click links for previews)
Innsmouth Sailor Old Captain Obed
Leave Her Johnny Undying Ladies
Sails Out of Innsmouth Blow the Man Down
Kanaky Innsmouth Girls
Paddy Lay Back Haul 'em Below
Whup Jamboree Pump Shanty
Innsmouth Town Devil Reef Chanty - 1917


Customer Reviews

Based on 21 reviews
John Burford
Innsmouth Shanties ticks all my boxes!

My third Miskatonic Monograph had two tough acts to follow. The volume itself was in every way up to the high standards of the series, a sound and engaging mix of Lovecraftian lore and real-world research. And then there's the CD of the shanties themselves!
The reading matter is a good introduction to the types of shanty in general, nicely referenced to the Innsmouth stories. As a folk music follower from way back, and a fan of the likes of England's "Fisherman's Friends" I can happily listen again and again to the Innsmouth shanties, beautifully and professionally performed.

Jeremy L
Makes one yearn for the sea.

The sea shanties are a must have. The monograph has the lyrics and what the shanties are about, as well as how to sing along! And if you like Black Flag or Pirates! You can turn down the in game music and have a blast!


A beautifully-prepared academic-style booklet from Miskatonic University Press, with its accompanying sea-shanty recordings by the University’s Men’s Chorus (named for the booklet’s deceased lead author, Dr. Connolly), create a new angle from which to view Innsmouth. The booklet’s appearance, derived from genuine 1920s monographs, never misses a beat, with colour-printed maps and cover scrimshaw illustration. As in Lovecraft’s stories, real-world information and fiction is blended throughout the text, so readers may find it benefits their understanding of elements like the ship types mentioned without explanation in “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”, and provides some insights into genuine navigation by the stars, for example. We also learn how close Dr. Wilmarth came to never meeting Henry Akeley, thanks to his curiosity in investigating the practices of a certain Innsmouth Esoteric Order... Lyrics for all the recorded songs are provided too, not always entirely accurately, as sea-shanties are living works, ever subject to fresh interpretations. That recording is itself flawless, the shanties performed in a suitably robust, lively fashion, much as one might have expected of 18th-19th century sailors. The CD has a memorial card insert for Dr. Connolly, and the disc’s printed side looks like an actual gramophone record. Then there’s the partial Devil Reef ceremony and chant, preserved from a since-lost wax cylinder recording, the perfect ending. Simply wonderful!

This academic paper is amazing

It took a lot of work to make this academic paper. High quality writing, very believable. Then there are the lyrics for the various songs on the CD. This is far more than I was expecting, thank you.

Moe Lane
Each part of this product is excellent on its own...

...combined, they're something special. The monograph is cleverly constructed, and would make an excellent prop for somebody running a Call of Cthulhu campaign; it and the songs also feel like they were written by someone who knew something about sea shanties. I listen to the album regularly, and peruse the monograph every so often. I would buy more of this sort of thing.