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Dallas Primary pupils record their own version of Wellerman


By Garry McCartney

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Eva landy (10) Aila Gibson (8) on violins.
Eva landy (10) Aila Gibson (8) on violins.

PUPILS at a village school have joined the national craze for sea shanties by creating one of their own.

Dallas P4-7 got round coronavirus restrictions on singing by recording a version of Evans, 220 Kid, and Billen Ted's 'Wellerman', individually and in the playground.

Isla Franklin (12) sang the middle verse.
Isla Franklin (12) sang the middle verse.

Head teacher Mairi Grant confirmed it was a great way to re-unite the school community after a lengthy period at home in lockdown.

She said: "Singing was a huge part of what we did before the pandemic but, under current guidelines, it is not recommended.

"Our pupils missed singing though so we found a safe way to overcome it!

"We mixed the shanty with new lyrics using digital audio workstation GarageBand. P7 girls contributed to the verses with a solo verse from Isla Franklin (12), the other children sang the chorus or accompanied on tambours and fiddle ... we had some wind and birdsong too!"

Sophie Dey (9) recording the chorus.
Sophie Dey (9) recording the chorus.

'Soon May the Wellerman Come', also known as 'Wellerman' is a whaling song from the nineteenth century. Wellermen were supply ships owned by the English Weller brothers who emigrated to New Zealand.

The original song's content was for exploited workers for whom 'sugar and tea and rum' provided respite from their daily lives.

During the last year, versions by British folk music group the Longest Johns and Scottish musician Nathan Evans became viral hits on social media.

Nathan Evans version is jointly credited to remixers 220 Kid and producing/writing duo Billen Ted. Evans and star guests recently performed the song on ITV's 'Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'.

Fergus Ingram (9) on percussion.
Fergus Ingram (9) on percussion.

Mrs Grant said: "We were inspired by Ant and Dec on Saturday night so thought it would be great to make a Dallas version!"

She added: "It's fantastic to have our pupils back. There are now two classes in separate bubbles as well as the usual safety measures to minimise the spread of Covid-19.

"While they all engaged brilliantly with remote learning, there's nothing better than seeing the children back in school."

Watch the Dallas sea shanty at https://fb.watch/4keYMgRSGs/

Eva Ingram (11) Isla Franklin (12) looking over the song words.
Eva Ingram (11) Isla Franklin (12) looking over the song words.

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