Cyril Tawney, the West Country’s most loved artist, has a collection of maritime songs which depicts his wealth of talent. He enjoyed the popularity for his maritime songs which features his unmistakable English folk vocals accompanied by his distinguishing nylon-string acoustic guitar.
Though he pioneered the traditional folk songs of the West Country, Cyril created a fantastic reputation of the writer of songs, loved and accepted by many.
One of the best songs that depicts this description is ‘’Sally Free and Easy’’ which achieved a lot of popularity even beyond the folk clubs, and was recorded by Bob Dylan and other people.
Another period that witnessed one of his best songs was in 1957, where he made his radio debut on Christmas Day. The music titled ‘’Sing Christmas’’ was also featured in his television debut the following year on Easter Sunday.
Cyril continued to wax stronger in his media broadcast activities and with this, he leveraged on the opportunity to express and promote his folk music.
In 1959, he wrote a melancholy song titled ‘’The Grey Funnel Line’’ before his exit from the Royal Navy. The song was purely a code word for the Navy, describing the color of its funnels which has company logos that are seen on commercial shipping lines. Though the song sounds very romantic, it shows boredom and longing to get home for those who go through stressful activities in both the naval and commercial marine.
To further describe Cyril’s best songs of all times, certain factors inspired him; and one of them is his naval experiences. ‘’Chicken on A Raft’’ which connotes a navy slang for a fried egg on fried bread was aptly written on a response style, whereas the Oggie Man compared the vanishing of the Cornish pasty or Oggie, who sold at Devonport docks with an undiluted interest of every sailor.
This song, Grey Funnel Line which was adjudged as one of the best at that time, was listened to at John Duigan’s Film Sirens in 1994.