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Monocle Husky

Uncivilised Spelling

Civilized Beasts is a charity poetry anthology, with all profits going to the Wildlife Conservation Society. You can buy it in both physical and ebook formats.

I contributed Sled Dog Cadence, which is, as the name suggests, a cadence, call-and-response song or jody call, huskies and other hauling dogs, for the use of. I figured dog teams would have similar preoccupations to soldiers on the march: food, rest, sex, and how much better they are than all the other teams.

I had to look up the technical term for these songs, though I was familiar with the genre from Air Cadet camp. One we sang there went:

"Here's to the girl that I love best
Many's the time I've washed her vest."

...at least, when the CO was listening. Air Cadet camp was very educational.

Civilized Beasts cover


So what did you sing when the CO was not listening? :P

Those call-and-response songs are (were?) very popular among seamen, too, in the navy, both military and merchant. In fact I seem to recall that that's how shanties arose: from simple, almost ritual calls and responses that gradually became more complex and took on a life of their own.

Congrats on getting published again as well, BTW. Eventually you'll have to publish an anthology collecting all your stories that appeared in various volumes. :)
Thank you! I am hoping to have enough material for a collection in the next couple of years, but I write slowly :)

I can imagine ships are good territory for that kind of chant, as there must have been a lot that needed doing to a rhythm; pulling ropes, and so on.

And it was, er, 'sucked her breast'. We were teenagers and pathetic.
Ah, I should've guessed it'd be something like that. :P (Nothing pathetic about being interested in sex, though.)

Aye, pulling ropes and the like is where these call-and-response chants were used; when a fairly large number of people need to work in unison using muscle power and coordinate their efforts, it comes fairly naturally.
Aw, poop! The ebook isn't out until Friday, apparently. Which leaves me curious as to the logistics of stocking ebooks..
I'm not sure how the system works; I guess they don't want the ebook available before the print book, but do want a page people can link to. (I'm tempted to grab the ebook because the physical contributors' copies won't be sent out for a couple of months - plus money to charity, of course.)
I will buy one, and pass the word. Good work; happy Christmas.
You're a star! Thank you, and to you!