Songs in the Key of Sea

Jane's Association with the Sea

Roma II at anchor in King George River
Roma II

Jane has been sailing all her adult life. From racing catamarans and trailer sailors, to larger offshore yachts. She has lived aboard and cruised the isolated coastal waters of Australia extensively. Jane and her husband owned a Sparkman and Stephens 34 foot sloop named Roma II between 1991 and 2006. In May 2014 a yacht named Ambience (Lotus 10.6) came into their lives, and Jane and Steve enjoy racing her around the buoys at Fremantle Sailing Club Western Australia.

Songs In The Key Of Sea - Preview

Songs in the Key of Sea CD
Extended Play CD,
Songs in the Key of Sea,
contains four tracks inspired by the sea and sea voyages.
In total, over eighteen minutes of music.


Track Information

Koolama

While reading, The Koolama Incident by Bill Loane, Jane was inspired to put her pen to paper and record the wonderful story in song. The Motor Vessel Koolama was a Western Australian state ship that plied it's trade between Fremantle and Darwin. During World War Two she was attacked by Japanese aircraft in the remote Kimberley region of northern Western Australia. Amazingly the passengers and crew survived, most walking several days through un-mapped bush, in searing heat, to a local Aboriginal mission. The ship limped into Wyndham, where after being attacted again, finally sunk. This is the first song Jane has written that records a true account of an historical event.

Koolama at Anchor

Wings To Fly

Solo 1 Project Sign At Royal Show
Solo 1 Project Sign At Royal Show

The fourth Song on the Songs In The Key Of Sea CD was inspired by the Solo 1 Project, where Jamie Dunross, Sydney Paralympic Gold Medallist, planned to attempt a solo circumnavigation aboard his Sparkman & Stephens 34 foot sloop, Spirit of Rockingham. Spirit of Rockingham was constructed by Cottesloe Yachts and included a track-mounted seat to enable Jamie to move in and out of the cabin and around the deck to the bow. Electric sail handling winches were also installed.
In 2010 Jamie became the first person with quadraplegia to circumnavigate Australia. When Jamie came home he retired from long ocean passages and now works with Sailability providing sailing opportunities for people with a disability.

The safety coloured bright yellow hull was displayed at several Western Australian shows. The yacht is constructed using the latest foam sandwich vacuum-resin techniques.

Spirit of Rockingham at The Royal Show Spirit of Rockingham at Royal Show

Adventuring With Shackleton

Sir Earnest Shackleton
Sir Earnest Shackleton

The Koolama song has been so well recieved Jane was motivated to write another historical story. This time her inspiration came from her long time hero Sir Earnest Shackleton and his adventures on the Antarctic Ice pack and southern seas.

In 1914 Shackleton and 27 crew sailed from England on the Endurance. They were attempting to be the first to cross Antartica on foot. The Endurance became trapped in the ice flow and enventually sunk. After tracking over the ice pack, managing to row to Elephant Island, crossing the southern ocean in a lifeboat and traversing the previously uncrossed mountains of South Georgia, Shackleton finally retuned to rescue all of his men.

Dragging the James Caird across the Ice
Dragging the James Caird across the Ice

Seaflight

David and Jane the day David arrived home
David Dicks and Jane the day Seaflight returned to Fremantle

With such a background in sailing it is amazing that until recently Jane had only written one song directly inspired by the sea. Although previously realeased on cassette, this track has been re-recorded and given new life. Seaflight is a tribute to lone sailor David Dicks. In 1996 David was the youngest person to sail solo non-stop around the world.

Lyrics

Koolama


Koolama

The MV Koolama sails from Fremantle to Darwin,
It's 1942 and there's a war going on.
Hurricane Jack at the helm; he's been with her since the day she was born,
Ships company numbers eight-nine.
The passengers aboard have all come along for the party,
But nobody knows what they are in for.

Chorus
Koolama, Koolama, How are you?
"I'm resting in old Wyndham Harbour."

Ten days from harbour the enemy finds her,
Three bombs aboard and she's taking on water.
Number four hold is full, no steerage and she's listing to starboard,
She's in danger of never being heard of.
But the sea is calm and there is no panic aboard,
The captain says, "let's run for cover."

Chorus

Koolama seeks shelter in the hostile Kimberley,
The order is given to abandon ship.
Hurricane Jack stays aboard, he knows he must try and save her,
Passenger and crew camp behind the mangroves.
And Darwin can't help, for she is fighting her own battles,
So it's Kalumburu Mission to the rescue.

Chorus

The sick and the injured are taken by lugger,
It is twenty-four hours before they reach Kalumburu.
Ninety-three passengers and crew prepare to walk the overland route,
With the Drysdale to cross, only the strong can survive.
But King Billy and Jimmi along to guide them to safety,
They reach the mission in five days.

Chorus

The MV Koolama limps all the way to Wyndham,
The lifeboats are ready; she's awash below decks.
Disaster strikes, an attack, the crew cannot save her,
Despair as the watch her turn onto her side.
They try to refloat her; they need to free her,
But she wants to settle in the harbour.

Chorus

ã Copyright Jane Laws 2003
Unauthorised copying, public performance, broadcasting, hiring or rental of this song prohibited.

Wings to Fly


Wings to Fly

Chorus
Don't deny me wings to fly and do what I must do.
Don't deny me while I'm here the chance to see it through.
And if I leave you crying,
If I leave you asking why,
Please don't deny me wings to fly.
 
Deep in your heart you know that I can not stay home,
Try not to worry when you think of me alone.
You will see me frightened,
I don't live in fear,
Just move to the distant drum I hear.
 
Chorus
 
Although it may be difficult you need to let me go,
To further my life's journey and help myself to grow.
You will see me praying
Where does the will come from?
My restless spirit just drives me on.
 
Chorus
 
There will be times when it's encouragement I need,
And other times only your love to succeed.
You will see me struggle
And fight the ebbing tide,
I must go on or die inside.
 
Chorus


ã Copyright Jane Laws 2003
Unauthorised copying, public performance, broadcasting, hiring or rental of this song prohibited.

Adventuring With Shackleton


Adventuring With Shackleton

The Endurance leaves old England for the furthest southern land,
To be the first to cross the continent, with dog, sled, man.
The great war was just beginning when bade farewell to sweethearts, wives,
But before they reached Antarctica they are trapped in thick pack ice.

Chorus
Lets go adventuring with Shackleton down to the southern sea,
With the cold ice floes, where the west wind blows, where a true old salt should be.
You may not trust him with your money but you can trust him with your life.
Lets go adventuring with Shackleton to the great Antarctic ice.

His hopes and dreams were shattered, but a great man was he,
He turned his hand to save his men from salt, ice, sea.
And he ordered Leonard Hussey to keep his old banjo.
'We'll need to hear you tinkering while marooned on the floe'.

Chorus

Their ship is crushed by the ice, then she's taken by the sea,
And many months pass by before they reach Elephant Island's lee.
He'd be the first to go cold and hungry, he'd give the shirt from off his back.
He held his men together O' to serve a man like that.

Chorus

The James Caird makes ready for sea, just a tiny wooden boat,
He took Worsley and four crew and they bailed to keep her afloat.
They sailed seven hundred miles of ocean in the roughest, swollen seas,
To make landfall at South Georgia and amazing small boat feat.

Chorus

Now marooned on South Georgia's rough torn southern shore,
With no man there to help them, when they thought they could go no more,
He began the overland journey to save himself and all his crew.
Over mountains not crossed before, he did what few of us could do.

Chorus


ã Copyright Jane Laws 2003
Unauthorised copying, public performance, broadcasting, hiring or rental of this song prohibited.

Seaflight


Seaflight

It's February '96, the Seaflight, sails from home.
It's the start of a great adventure,
To be the youngest to sail around alone.
Then we hear some sad news,
The Seaflight's on her way back.
It must have taken a great deal of courage.
Sometimes the hardest choice is changing your tack.
But, the project doesn't loose direction.
Repairs are completed before too long,
And the Seaflight heads back over the horizon.
The adventure only just begun.

Chorus
Some say it just ain't right,
That you should have headed out all alone.
But from where I stand your courage,
Brings so much hope to those left here at home.
You've been singled out like Chichester,
And Cottee and Sanders before.
And I bet it ain't the last time,
You play adventurer for us all.

Then the photographs arrive from the Falklands.
And proudly written on the hull,
are the names Mum, Harold, Jon and Robin
I guess they are the ones you love the most.
And there is one of officer Taylor,
machining your much needed bolts.
You can see in his eyes,
You've touched his heart, You've touched his soul.
Then there's Seaflight, sailing into the sunset,
She looks lonely, she looks serene.
And my heart is filled with admiration,
When I remember your only seventeen.

Chorus

There are many people following your progress.
Most of us you will never meet.
And we're starting to get a little excited,
Your journey is over half complete.
And when we are planning our next destination,
I've often heard people say
"The only thing to do is batten down the hatches,
And go the David Dicks way".
So in your quiet moments,
When your thoughts turn to home.
You can be sure in heart and in spirit,
Your not sailing on alone.

Chorus


ã Copyright Jane Laws 1996
Unauthorised copying, public performance, broadcasting, hiring or rental of this song prohibited.

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