Folk Music Society of New York to Host 'Sing Like a Pirate Friday', 9/19

Folk Music Society of New York to Host 'Sing Like a Pirate Friday', 9/19

With so much of the country enjoying the fun of International Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day, the Folk Music Society of New York reasoned, why not invite the public to sing like them -- or at least about them? On Fri., Sept. 19, the Society invites all comers to join them on the East Side for their Talk-Like-a-Pirate Extravaganza and sea chantey sing.

"Sea chanteys are one of the easiest and most fun types of traditional folk music to get into," said Folk Music Society President Evy Mayer. "All it takes is an unabashed willingness to sing along at the top of your lungs on some very easy refrains."

Wearing an optional pirate costume will help one get into the spirit, however, and prizes will be given for the best ones.

Leading the sing will be Stuart Markus, familiar to many as a member of the folk-harmony trio Gathering Time but also known as a chantey singer for his work with the duo Strike The Bell; Alison Kelley, a member of the Johnson Girls, one of the world's premier female chantey groups, and part of an affiliation of chantey singers known as the New York Packet (and also a descendant of the pirate Captain Henry Morgan); and Joy Bennett, another member of the Johnson Girls who also sings with the Packet and with her husband, Chris Koldewey. There will be plenty of choruses to sing along with, and opportunities for others to lead songs.

"Most sea chanteys were work songs to help gangs of men keep a rhythm as they were hauling on lines, rowing, or heaving up the anchor," Markus said, "but there were also ballads and story songs about adventures, misadventures, and life at sea. A number mention New York City, and not just a few are about pirates!"
Sure to be sung is "Captain Kidd," about a NYC-based sea captain who became a privateer in 1699, but through a series of misfortunes and misjudgments ended up hanged for piracy a few years later.

The Talk-Like-a-Pirate Extravaganza and chantey sing will take place Friday, Sept. 19th at 7:30 P.M. at OSA Hall, 220 East 23rd St, suite 707, Manhattan (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues). Snacks will be served. Contribution is any pieces of silver one might wish to spare. For more information, call (718) 549-1344 (after 11 AM) or see

The Folk Music Society of New York, Inc. / New York Pinewoods Folk Music Club, FMSNY is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational corporation, and an affiliate of the Country Dance and Song Society of America. FMSNY is run by a volunteer Board of Directors, elected by the membership. For "do-it-yourself singers" we host informal participatory singing/jamming four times a month: sea chanteys, a community open sing, old time instrumental jam, and Irish traditional music sessions. We present concerts, musical weekends, classes, and singing parties, all with an emphasis on traditional music of all flavors. Visit for more information.