terms of entertainments , the skills of the sailor are varied and
useful - though all might join in and contribute, at a general messdeck
sing-a-round or canteen Sod's Opera. There were often some who were
blessed with a quality of voice, that on a balmy tropic night, or
storm lashed sea would often be called upon to while away a moment
favoured skills might focus on an ability to spin a song, provide
a nimble footed exhibition of dance by means of a jig or hornpipe,
or enthrall those who seemingly never tired of stories, yarns and
tales of ghosties, ghouls and betrayed love.
sail such entertainments would often occur in the forebits (before
the foremast) in the evening watch, particularly on a Saturday night.
- When it is easy to imagine the men gathered around listening or
sharing songs and stories that depict heroism, sea battles or the favoured
girl at home.
songs, often of considerable length were classified as ballads, as
they told stories. But not everybody told such stories in song, poetry
was popular as well, and often recited.
Although there was a very long tradition of spoken verse, long before
the music hall, a particular type of recitation was developed for
popular performance. These pieces were generally of a dramatic or
humourous nature and can be classified as a cross between song and
time they were classified or known as monologues. Such items, remain
popular at RN Sods Operas today.