The Wellerman Comes

Ensemble (Brass) | Mixed Ensemble (Woodwinds/Brass)

The Wellerman Comes

- nach einem traditionellen Shanty aus Neuseeland -
(Soon May the Wellerman Come)

Ensemble (Brass), Modern, Brass Quintet, Mixed Ensemble & Percussion, Folk, Folklore, Mixed Ensemble (Woodwinds/Brass)
Grade Level:
Performance time:
Full Score + Parts
Order Number:
Release Date:


Sailor songs are probably as old as the seafaring itself, because in old times the sailors only had their own singing as cultural entertainment. The typical shanty is mostly in minor and is often characterized by the call-and-response between a soloistic “shantyman” who sings the action-bearing verses and the choir of all sailors in the chorus. Shanties were also sung during the work, and the shantyman determined the working cycle by his tempo.

The pattern described also applies to the shanty “Soon May the Wellerman Come”, originated around 1865. The text describes the battle of a ship’s crew with a whale, which was successfully harpooned, but which then tirelessly drags the ship behind it for weeks. (In the last stanza it is even said that the fight probably continues to this day.) Meanwhile, in the chorus of the song, one longs for the arrival of the “wellerman”. In the seas around New Zealand, “wellerman” was the common name for the supply vessels operated by the Weller brothers, which supplied whalers with stimulants such as sugar, tea and rum.

In early 2021, this song became world famous through versions of The Longest Johns and Nathan Evans. The old shanty spread “virally” mainly on the Internet and especially among young people, who probably felt a parallel to the present in the story of the song: Aren’t we – due to the actual pandemic – in a similar situation like those sailors? They are towed endlessly through the seas by a monster they thought they could easily defeat, and they can at best hope for temporary little pleasures brought by the “wellerman”. – From this point of view, the shanty is not only about the wellerman, but it “is” at the same time the bringer of musical joy in a time of privation, especially for us musicians.

Playing music in small ensembles is the most original form of wind music and is currently gaining more and more importance. Ensemble musicians can work on important skills such as intonation, team playing, balancing - and express their joy of playing music straight with the audience.

The new small band series “RUNDELs Kleine Blasmusik” (Rundels Little Wind Band Music) therefore offers fascinating possibilities for groups who want to play traditional wind music such as marches, polkas or waltzes.

The concept “Quintet + (plus)” offers additional parts for two-part woodwinds, extra (solo) trumpet, percussion, accordion and accompanying parts for trombone, tenor horn, baritone/euphonium or French horn.

In addition to a clear score, the music set contains an extensive set of parts and transposed parts. Thus, a huge variety of flexible instrumentation is possible.

“RUNDELs Little Wind Band Music” (RUNDELs Kleine Blasmusik) - a new series with lots of ideas and possibilities!

Instrumentation / Music Set Quintet
Part 1 Bb / C: Trumpet 1, Flugelhorn 1
Part 2 Bb / C: Trumpet 2, Flugelhorn 2
Part 3 Bb / C: Tenorhorn, Tenor Saxophon 1, Trombone 1
Part 3 F / Eb: Horn 1
Part 4 C / Bb: Baritone, Euphonium, Tenor Saxophone 2, Trombone 2
Part 4 F / Eb: Horn 2
Part 5 C / Eb 8va: Tuba 1, Bassoon, Baritone Saxophone
Part 5 C / Bb 8vb : Tuba 2
Part 5 Bb: Bass Clarinet

opt. Additional Parts (Quintet +)
C Flute
Eb Clarinet
Bb Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone
Bb / C Solo Trumpet
Bb / C Harmony Parts 1 / 2 (Accompaniment)
F / Eb Harmony Parts 1 / 2 (Accompaniment)
Accordion / Acoustic Guitar

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