Every month we have over 100 guests joining us for the chantey sing. In order for the Sing to proceed smoothly with so many participants, and to ensure fairness in picking singers, we arrange the set list in advance.
Our goal is to create a well-balanced yet inclusive and welcoming program.
The Zoom-door to the Sing opens a little before 2pm, giving guests a few minutes to greet each other. Shortly after 2 we ask you to mute your mics, and the MC begins the program. The next three singers are announced throughout the event. At 4pm we do a closing song, then give folks a few minutes to bid each other farewell before shutting down the Zoom.
We encourage all participants to use the Chat to share their comments throughout the event.
How do you make the set list?
When you register, as long as it is a week or more before the Sing, you may select either “Yes, I”d like to lead a song,” “Maybe, can I decide later?” or “No, I’ll just be listening.”
About a week before the sing, we make the set list, prioritizing singers who haven’t led a song for us before, within a balanced program of amateurs and professionals, locals and distant guests. If we have too many singers to accommodate them all we create an Alternates list. If you don’t get to lead a song one month we hope to get you on the next.
If you said “Maybe” we’ll reach out to you to see if you want to bump up to a Yes.
Once the set list is complete we will email you to confirm your approximate location on the program, or let you know if you are on the Alternates list. If you will be unavailable after all, just let us know right away and we can put an Alternate in your slot.
What if I can’t commit so far in advance? What if I can’t sing after all?
If you aren’t sure, just sign up as a Maybe. We’ll give you a chance to switch to a Yes.
If you said you wanted to lead a song but can’t after all, let us know when you get your singer confirmation, so we can put an Alternate in your place. Or if you have a problem at the last minute, shoot us an email then. Give us as much notice as you can. Please avoid simply not showing up — we could slot an Alternate in your spot but first we would have to spend a lot of energy looking for you.
Choosing a Song
Bear these ideas in mind:
- Lots of singers are scheduled to present. Please help us make room for them all by choosing a not-too-long song.
- We’ll send you a list of songs sung in recent months. It is fine if you want to repeat a song, but this will allow you to sing something new if you prefer.
- Though we aren’t recording for publication and the rules therefore are quite loose, it is best when possible to avoid copyright complications by choosing either a traditional song or one of your own.
Song origins and themes:
- We try to avoid racist and misogynistic songs. Some people change lyrics, some leave out verses, some skip particular songs altogether.
- There are some beloved songs which are of racist origin of which we were unaware. It is good to find out. Sometimes exploring and discussing a song is more valuable than automatically censoring it.
- We therefore ask that you do a few minutes of internet research on the song you will be leading. At the Sing, when you share with us the title of the song, also share (very briefly!) the origin or context. Other participants may weigh in through the Chat and we will all be enlarged by the discussion.
The Chantey Sing is brought to you by South Street Seaport Museum in New York City. Click Below to make a donation to help us continue our work.