My grandfather claimed that he remembered seeing the sticky aftermath of the Great Molasses Flood of 1919, when a huge molasses storage tank broke and flooded the north end of Boston with a sticky tide. Twenty-one people were killed and 150 were injured. In retrospect, my grandfather was only 10 years old and didn’t even live in Boston (he was about 15 miles north in Lynn), so this might have been a bit of a big-fish story, but it was enough to give me a lasting fondness for this shanty.
“Molasses” was written by Tom Rowe of Schooner Fare, and tells the story of the infamous Triangle Trade and the Great Molasses Flood from the point of view of an African-American family with really, really bad luck. Here it’s performed by the fabulously named Squid Jiggers, who include Tom Rowe’s son Dave. Sing along!