A north-east musician has jumped on the sea shanty trend by creating a “unique” track to pay tribute to Scotland’s midwives.
Jasmine ‘Jazz’ Day, from Keith, joined forces with staff and students at University of the West of Scotland to commemorate the support, care and compassion midwives give to mothers across the country with a song.
Inspired by the global success of former postie Nathan Evans with his rendition of Wellerman, the commercial music student has written the song as a conversation between a mother giving birth and her midwives.
Ms Day, who is also known as Modern Sonder on the Scottish music scene, explained the sea shanty format was perfect for the message she and her team wanted to convey.
She said: “It was the midwifery staff who came up with the idea of it being a sea shanty actually, and it just so happened that this format worked really well as a way of expressing the thoughts and feelings of midwives and new mothers.
“A sea shanty often features a lead vocal, and what’s known as a gang vocal, which is provided by a group of people.
“In With Women, the lead vocal in the track is the mother, and the gang vocals come from the midwives, providing her support – so, in a sense, it tells two different stories. The sea shanty format worked incredibly well.”
‘Writing a sea shanty was a challenge’
Despite being a songwriter with experience of traditional Scottish music, Ms Day had never written a sea shanty before.
The former NesCol student has been on the country’s bustling rock scene since she was 13 – most recently singing and playing bass for rock band Still, who released an EP entitled Colours in 2013 and two singles (Bottle and Waiting For Who?) in 2015.
As an artists who usually draws inspiration from bands like Matchbox Twenty, Jimmy Eat World and Paramore, Ms Day thought writing a sea shanty was a different and challenging experience.
“These days, I typically perform in the rock and pop genres, so it was a little bit of a challenge for me, to put myself into that world”, she said.
“I did a lot of research into the history of the sea shanty, and the role that women played in the history of the fishing industries in Scotland.
“They really were integral in the culture, which then developed this style of music.”
‘Overwhelmingly positive’ response
The song was released on May 5 to mark the International Day of the Midwife and has since proven to be a huge success among Ms Day’s online audience.
With Women can currently be downloaded from Ms Day’s official website for £1 with all proceeds raised going towards the UWS Student Midwife Scholarship Fund.
Lorna Futter, creative producer for the song, was delighted with the end result.
She said: “The initial brief came from midwifery staff, and I came up with the idea of getting midwives involved. Jazz has done an amazing job at putting together a powerful song, encapsulating the feelings felt as a baby is born.
“This was achieved in part thanks to inspiring meetings with midwifery staff and students – it was their stories that inspired Jazz’s lyrics.”
UWS Midwifery lecturer Sheona Brown added: “When I heard With Women for the first time, I was absolutely blown away.
“The reception to With Women has been overwhelmingly positive, and I’m so pleased that it is raising money for such a good cause.”