Allegro Con Brio
This movement employs one of the best-known shanties, What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor?, and is brilliantly portrayed in various stages of intoxication. It begins with a polyphonic development of the tune, turns dark for a moment, and regains its high spirits with a fun tango-like interlude. Arnold uses different techniques in the horn, such as the “stopped” horn where the hornist plays with his right hand slightly in the bell, and when he “stops” the horn, his hand moves further into the instrument, which changes the tone quality.
The second movement which uses the tune, Boney Was a Warrior, is sweet and flowing, and is the most straightforward movement of the piece. In this movement, each instrument gets to play the melody in solo. The rest of the accompaniment follows in mostly long notes, with some descending movement now and then.
The rhythmic and lively third movement, based on Johnny Come Down to Hilo, is filled with humour and quick tempo changes. Arnold plays around with the tune, interrupting it frequently by having few instruments to start the line, with another jumping in to finish. The movement ends with a “horn call”-esque type of line with the oboe and the clarinet, settling down into a descending line with a hold, a fun ending which is very characteristic of Arnold.