Formed in 1988, Forty Degrees South have 30 years of robust singing under their belts. First known as The Roaring Forties, in 2018 they became Forty Degrees South (40°S or “forties” for short).
Powerful individual singers the group has a formidable repertoire of traditional and trad-style contemporary songs. They have a lengthy list of themes: sea shanties, whaling songs, forebitters, work songs, mining songs, union songs, bush songs, songs of Australian history, protest songs, humorous songs, god-bothering songs, drinking songs – you name it!
They are regulars on the Australian folk festival circuit and have toured in the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, New Zealand and Norfolk Island.
The Forties are always reinventing themselves, but some things remain constant – the enjoyment they get from singing harmonies and encouraging audience participation.
[They] sing songs of maritime and mayhem, maidens fair and sporty
Old hymns and worksongs and the like, [they] are the Roaring Forties!
More information about Forties recordings and presentations here.
If you’re looking for the English sea shanty group called The Roaring Forties, you’ll find them here. Note that the Sydney group has used the name since 1988 and those youngsters formed in 1995!
If you’d like to learn about the area between latitudes 40°S and 50°S where reliably strong westerly winds provided a quick trip for east-bound sailing ships, try Wikipedia.