How The Tall Ships Song celebrates Sunderland’s successes

The people behind The Tall Ships Song. From left, Bill Queenan, photographer; George Shovlin, singer; George Lamb, songwriter; Eddie Miller, recording technician; Jimmy Smith, video maker.
The people behind The Tall Ships Song. From left, Bill Queenan, photographer; George Shovlin, singer; George Lamb, songwriter; Eddie Miller, recording technician; Jimmy Smith, video maker.

Sunderland still has plenty to sing about - and much of it has been included in a new song with a tall ships theme.

Forget the disappointments which everyone has heard about.

Let’s celebrate the re-emergence of Roker and Seaburn, the success of Nissan, and the latest accolade – the visit of the Tall Ships to Sunderland.

That’s the message from the people behind ‘The Tall Ships Song’ which has been written by George Lamb, and performed by George Shovlin.

Both are members of the nationally-acclaimed blues/rock band ‘George Shovlin and The Radars’, and organisers of the hugely successful weekly live music night Speakeasy at the Harbour View, Roker.

And the song they have created celebrates Sunderland’s leg of The Tall Ships Races which takes place on Wearside between Wednesday, July 10 and Saturday, July 14.

Our thanks go to George Shovlin who told us: “The song extols Sunderland’s shipbuilding and coal mining past, the contribution of the people, both men and women, in making Sunderland what it is today.”

It talks of the excitement of the visit, the European context of the event, but “especially what the event enables Sunderland to do – express pride in their City.”

George Lamb said he’d had musical assistance from Eddie Miller and inspiration for the lyrics from his wife Pat about The Tall Ships Race 2018. He described the song as “a celebration of my home town’s maritime heritage.”

But the two Georges are not the only musical maestros involved in the song. It also features fellow Sunderland musicians Ged McCormack on fiddle, Eddie Miller, who plays, sings and recorded the song, and Jimmy Smith, who has made a video to accompany the song. There has already been success for the number.

The Independent Blues Broadcasters Association compiles a monthly list of tracks played on all their member stations with a top 40 for each month.

George Shovlin and The Radars were Number 1, for March. George added: “The aim of the song is for it to be an expression of joy, produced by Sunderland people, of this wonderful event.” The song will be available to buy on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. Any proceeds will go to the Sunderland Maritime Heritage charity.