Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Ocean - 2. Episode 2

THE OCEAN - 2. EPISODE 2 (320kbs-m4a/68mb/30mins)
BBC Radio 6 Music broadcast: 5th April 2017

Richard Hawley travels the length and breadth of the country on a unique tour of the coast.

Richard investigates spirituality, religion, superstition and mysticism in sea-faring towns. We visit Filey in North Yorkshire where the Filey Fisherman's choir, a Methodist preaching band, sings about the parallels between spiritual salvation and literal rescue from stormy seas. At the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, Richard is shown a boat shaped alter, where families of sailors would pray for their safety.

Religion has played an important part in sea faring towns but, when your life is at the mercy of the ocean, it's good to have as many higher authorities on your side as possible and in Robin Hood's Bay in North Yorkshire, folk singers Mike and Norma Waterson talk about pagan rituals and a reverence for the sea god Oceana, which was also common amongst sailors.
Richard will discover that it's not just pagan gods and the Christian God who play a huge part in the lives of sailors and people who live on the coast. In Cornwall and Devon we will hear stories about mermaids and selkies and other mythical sea creatures and monsters that feature heavily in folk songs and stories in coastal towns.

Finally, in Glasgow Richard speaks to Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch about some of the most important fantasy novels written about life on the ocean and how the idea of going to sea has inspired some of the UK's most important novelists.

This episode features contributions from Soft Machine's Robert Wyatt, Poet Simon Armitage, Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch, Jon Boden from Bellowhead, folk singer Christina Stewart and Mike and Norma Waterson.

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