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28 October 2014

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Bill Pring and Bob Garrett
Bill Pring and Bob Garrett

The Napoli sea shanty

By Claire Price
The Napoli grounding has inspired many people… looters, clean-up volunteers, commentators and now song writers. ‘The Wreck of the Napoli’ highlights the environmental impact of the beached ship. Claire Price went to listen to its first performance.

The Ferrybridge Inn is at the edge of Weymouth overlooking the sea. It’s a place where the conservationists, volunteers and locals have gathered to mull over the events of the past few weeks.

It’s fitting that this pub has given rise to the latest expression of discontent, a song called ‘The Wreck of the Napoli’. The words to the song were penned by folk singer Bob Garrett. It is being performed for the first time tonight, with the help of the pub’s landlord Bill Pring and local cellist Matt Benjamin.

Listen to Bob Garrett and Bill Pring's sea shanty.
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“Everyone has been talking about it in the pub, from the drinkers to the thinkers,” explains Bob. “So this song just clicked in my head. Just occasionally you’ll get an issue that forces you to do something. I couldn’t just sit back and keep nodding along.”

The song has a quiet anger about it. When I ask Bob about it he claims that he’s more angry about issues now than he was as a young man. “But nobody wants to listen to a soapbox rant. So by writing a protest song I can get people to listen.”

The message Bob wants us to listen to, is that we need to care more about our planet. There’s a telling line in one verse, in which once the looters have collected their “ill-gotten gains” the only concern people have is “economic disaster”.

It’s an odd collection of people in the audience this evening – from bikers to folk fans to a couple of workers from the RSPCA. Bill thinks this fits the feeling of the song. “We’re not environmentalists, we’re human beings who care.”

“We wrote this song to make people realise that the sea is precious,” Bob adds. “I’ve got three children – I want them to inherit a better world.”

The strength of feeling seems to be shared by everyone in the pub. They have to wait to see if the public shares it too. The song has been recorded on to CD and is being sold at the pub to raise money for the RSPCA clean up operation.

If you would like to buy a copy of 'The Wreck of the Napoli', contact Bill Pring at the Ferrybridge Inn on 01305 760689.

last updated: 08/02/07
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tayla and summer
it is a ghurd song! only because we were in it at the end x!

bill prings my dad and im one of the people at the end love you dad your amazing

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