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Shanties, Sustainability, and a new Set list for you

How an Executive Fish Wife makes sustainability fun

“You can find me around campfires,” says Camilla. “I went from a piano player to an accordion player because I just wanted to move around.” Camilla’s REAL title is Executive Fish Wife. She and her husband run Sea Forager Seafood, a sustainable fishmonger company in the Bay Area. And by night? Camilla drops the Executive title and gets loud and rowdy with her sea shanty band the Fish Wives!

Camilla had to educate me on some terminology. “Sea shanties are fundamentally work songs, and sea songs encompass a lot more.” So although her band is called a “sea shanty band” for the general public, and they do sing sea shanties, they also perform other stuff. “The only rule for us is that it be a sea song, many of which are actual shanties, but not necessarily,” she says.

The Fish Wives get some really, really weird gigs. In our episode, Camilla describes one of the most memorable gigs where a “surprise” tour company (a company that gives tours full of surprises) hired them to jump out of a dumpster! I absolutely love the visual on that. By the way, she sent me some really fun pictures for me to choose for the episode cover art. While I went with the one above, check out a few more she sent that I absolutely love!

Getting rowdy in the Bay

On the glacier - one of Camilla’s Zeitgeist Moments!

Because of course mermaids…!

Making serious sustainability, seriously fun

I love the connection between the Fish Wives and Sea Forager Seafood. Sea Forager is tackling a complex and difficult problem, or as Camilla put it “trying to correct a major and a tragic wrong".” It could be easy to burn out or feel defeated. So, Camilla and her husband brought this into their actual business from the beginning. “When we started the seafood business, we knew that one of the things we wanted to offer was community and fun. So that sustainability… actually feels good.” You can book the Fish Wives from the Sea Forager website, and they perform at several industry events. And their performances are highly interactive: “We're loud, we're bawdy. We move around the room. We're acoustic. We're kind of like Irish mariachis.”

Sea Shanty Set List

And of course I had to get a set list for you all. Here are some of Camilla’s favorite sea shanties and songs! Some are bawdy, some are serious and sad, some are upbeat with dark lyrics. But either way they can add a fun and interesting soundtrack to your day!

  • Little Harry Belefonte

  • Strike the bell

  • Leave Her Johnny

  • Boys of Killybegs

  • Molly Malone

  • All for me grog

  • High Barbury

  • Wild Rover

  • Get up Jack John

  • Fisherman's song

A huge thank you to Camilla for an awesome conversation! Follow the Fishwives and Sea Forager: ⁠⁠ @seaforager⁠ on Facebook and Instagram

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