"This", says Hal Willner, "was the original punk music." The maverick American producer, best known for his tribute to Kurt Weill and his reworking of Disney film music, had been set an unusual task: to provide a contemporary reinterpretation of seafaring songs. The idea came from Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski (credited here as executive producers) while they were filming Pirates of the Caribbean, and the result is a 43-track epic that actually works. The cast list is extraordinary: Nick Cave, Bono, Lou Reed, Bryan Ferry and Sting appearing alongside British and American folk stars (Richard and Teddy Thompson, Martin and Eliza Carthy, Loudon and Rufus Wainwright).

But what's more impressive is how Willner matches a sense of danger, even mania, against laments, with distorted, experimental passages balanced with the delicate guitar work of Bill Frisell or sturdy traditional themes. The mood changes from bawdy and obscene work songs to ballads. Highlights include David Thomas's crazed version of What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor, a moody, pounding guitar ballad from Jarvis Cocker and Richard Thompson's exquisite Mingulay Boat Song."

Disc 1
01. Cape Cod Girls – Baby Gramps
02. Mingulay Boat Song – Richard Thompson
03. My Son John – John C. Reilly
04. Fire Down Below – Nick Cave
05. Turkish Revelry – Loudon Wainwright III
06. Bully In The Alley – The Old Prunes
07. The Cruel Ship's Captain – Bryan Ferry
08. Dead Horse – Robin Holcomb
09. Spansih Ladies – Bill Frisell
10. High Barbary – Joseph Arthur
11. Haul Away Joe – Mark Anthony Thompson
12. Dan Dan – David Thomas
13. Blood Red Roses – Sting
14. Sally Brown – Teddy Thompson
15. Lowlands Away – Rufus Wainwright & Kate McGarrigle
16. Baltimore Whores – Gavin Friday
17. Rolling Sea – Eliza McCarthy
18. Haul On The Bowline – Bob Neuwirth
19. Dying Sailor to His Shipmates – Bono
20. Bonnie Portmore – Lucinda Williams
21. The Mermaid – Martin Carthy & the UK Group
22. Shenandoah – Richard Greene & Jack Shit
23. The Cry Of Man – Mary Margaret O'Hara

Disc 2
01. Boney – Jack Shit
02. Good Ship Venus – Loudon Wainwright III
03. Long Time Ago –White Magic
04. Pinery Boy – Nick Cave
05. Lowlands Low – Bryan Ferry & Antony
06. One Spring Morning – Akron/Family
07. Hog Eye Man – Martin Carthy & Family
08. The Fiddler/A Drop Of Nelson's Blood – Ricky Jay & Richard Greene
09. Caroline and Her Young Sailor Bold – Andrea Corr
10. Fathom The Bowl – John C. Reilly
11. Drunken Sailor – Dave Thomas
12. Farewell Nancy – Ed Harcourt
13. Hanging Johnny – Stan Ridgway
14. Old Man of The Sea – Baby Gramps
15. Greenland Whale Fisheries – Van Dyke Parks
16. Shallow Brown – Sting
17. The Grey Funnel Line – Jolie Holland
18. A Drop of Nelson's Blood – Jarvis Cocker
19. Leave Her Johnny – Lou Reed
20. Little Boy Billy – Ralph Steadman

Disc I,
Disc II.

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