The Ancient Mariners Connecticut

Fifes, Drums and Chanteymen

The Mariners portrayal of the common sailor of 1812, brings to life a vivid display of the colonial seaman through an enthusiastic rendition of a musical good time. Built around the wood fife and the rope tension drum, the Mariners play and sing a variety of traditional music. from up tempo hornpipes and jigs to the work songs used aboard ship.

Their exploits, have also taken them across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. BoomThe Mariners have marched in Dublin, Ireland, the Alsace region of France, and many cities and towns in Switzerland.Many fife or drum players are past national champions, and some are former members of the Old Guard, the official United States fife and drum corps.

Hire the Corps

Interested in hiring the the Ancient Mariner Fife & Drum Corps or Chanteymen for your upcoming parade or social event? Send us a note.


Here is a look at our 2018 upcoming parades and events. Schedule is subject to change.


The Ancient Mariners, Connecticut were founded July 4, 1959 by Roy Watrous, the most important contemporary writer of ancient-style fife tumes.



Listen to the Mariners "Billy Budd / Drums and Guns" , written by Corps founder Roy Watrous.


Mariner photo gallery of Mariners past and present.


Ancient Mariners concert on the lawn of the Block Island Historical Society. For this performance fifty percent of the corps was comprised of Swiss members as well.

Mariner Chanteymen

Music of the sea came in two forms: the work songs called chanteys and leisure-time songs and instrumental pieces.

As the sea connected cultures, during the 1800s these songs developed to combine aspects of Irish and African musical traditions. “Chanteyman” was not an official position on board ship, but a sailor with a good voice and a quick wit was valuable in keeping the crew happy and efficient at its work. The chanteyman often improvised to make light of conditions, food, or other crew members, giving the sailors a little control over their situation.

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Swiss Mariner Chanteymen