Shanties, in Krakow – seeking out the sense of the sea

21 February 2019

There’s a Polish proverb which says “better to call inn-keepers on earth than saints in the sea”. Holy words it would seem. True words if spoken by a sailor. And if the sailor is Polish, they have the weight of a sentence. That’s because Poland and the sea have always gone together, like two lovers who are tender and generous with each other.

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But the sea in Poland doesn’t only belong to those who live beside it but the sea and the sense of the sea belongs to everyone and is for everyone. Too tied, sometimes overwhelmed by the yoke of foreign powers throughout history, the Poles have sworn “Jestem wolny jak morze” “I’m as free as the sea.
Perhaps, with this very spirit, the organisers of one of the most unusual and well attended music festivals in continental Europe were inspired.