Ships and Seamanship in Middle-earth

See also: Catalogue of Ships, Gondorian Army and Navy 1652-1675
"...I soon got used to this singing, for the sailors never touched a rope without it. Sometimes, when no one happened to strike up, and the pulling, whatever it might be, did not seem to be getting forward very well, the mate would always say, 'Come men, can't any of you sing? Sing now and raise the dead.' And then some one of them would begin, and if every man's arms were as much relieved as mine by the song, and he could pull as much better as I did, with such a cheering accompaniment, I am sure the song was well worth the breath expended on it. It is a great thing in a sailor to know how to sing well, for he gets a great name by it from the officers, and a good deal of popularity among his shipmates. Some sea captains, before shipping a man, always ask him whether he can sing out at a rope."

Aerlinnod (Sea shanties)

Sea shanties are shipboard working songs, serving a practical purpose: the rhythm of the song synchronizes the movements of the sailors as they toil at repetitive tasks. They also serve a social purpose: singing, and listening to song, is pleasant; it alleviates boredom, and lightens the burden of hard work, of which there is no shortage on long voyages.

Gondorian capstain shanty, 16th century
Namárië to you fair Southern Ladies,
Namárië to you, fair ladies of South
For we've received orders for to sail for old Gondor,
An' hope very shortly to strike Anduins' Mouth
We'll rant an' we'll roar, like true Gondor's sailors,
We'll rant an' we'll rave across the salt seas,
'Till we strike soundings in the Mouths of Old Anduin,
From Gaeros to Methir is fourty-five leagues.
We hove our ship to, with the wind at sou'west, boys,
We hove our ship to for to take soundings clear.
In fifty-five fathoms with a fine sandy bottom,
We filled our maintops'l, up Anduin did steer.

Catalogue of Ships

Available here.

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