Shanty Choir “De Boekaniers” has her roots in Harderwijk, over 750 years
old fishing and merchant town on the border of the former Zuiderzee.
At the end of 1994, the choir was formed through a small advertisement in the local newspaper, asking for people who would enjoy singing in a Shanty Choir. A small group started practising in the Sealife Park Dolfinarium and called themselves “De Boekaniers”. Nowadays, the average strength of the choir is 30 members, singing enthusiastically sea shanties and sea songs, which date from the great days of sail. The shanty was a working song used during heaving and hauling or other duties on board ship.The main man was the Shantyman who sang the verses and the crew responded by singing and pulling together. During the periods of calm and in the” off watch”, the sailors used to sing songs which were called “forbitters”, named after the iron bitts on the bow of the ship which were used for tying up when in port. Songs about women, tropical beaches, famous ships etc.
The choir practises once a week and has built up a repertoire of more than 70 songs in Dutch, English, French and German, accompanied by accordion (s),guitar, flute and bodhran. The choir performs at festivals both in the Netherlands and abroad Highlights have been attending festivals in Italy, Germany, Denmark, England. Ireland and the USA.
De Boekaniers have recorded four CD’s:
• De Boekaniers ( 1999)
• From the Lowlands (2004)
• Fair Winds ( 2007)
• KOLKende ZEE ( 2012)