About the piece

i. An old song resung
ii. Christmas Eve at Sea
iii. Sea Fever
iv. Mother Carey

A setting of four John Masefield poems from his collection Salt Water Ballads (1902) portraying the different moods of the ocean. “An old song resung,” is a rollicking sea-chantey in which pirates and merchants alike are engulfed in the indifferent justice of the ocean. “Christmas Eve at Sea” recalls the eerie calm and magical silence of the ocean at night and portrays complete loneliness and yet utter one-ness with the universe. The title piece of the cycle, “Sea Fever”, illustrates the compulsive draw of the ocean in the tension between the lulling triplet division and the stubborn duplet division of the beat. The final song, “Mother Carey”, is a terrifying, tongue-twisting tribute to Mother Carey, the fearsome sea-witch wife of Davy Jones.

Featured in Jane Manning’s Vocal Repertoire for the Twenty-First Century, Volume 2: Works Written From 2000 Onwards.

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Sea Fever



baritone and piano


8 minutes

year written


commissioned by

Jeremy Jennings

Sheet Music Format

PDF, 8.5 x 11"

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