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Hoist the Jolly Roger

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Over the past few of years I've written a number of original sea shanties and songs. I had moved on to working on some other things when one day I was kind of inundated with news reports about the plight of Flint, Michigan (USA) and their poisoned public water supply, and the doings of various candidates for Leader of the Free World, and several of their corporate owners. For some reason, this reminded me that my nautical songs thus far did not include a pirate song. I felt it was high time.

Via Project Gutenberg, I've read several historical accounts of the famous 17th and 18th century pirates that people have since romanticized. But according to history, these people were NOT nice people at all. They were monster egos driven by greed, with total disregard for anyone but themselves and perhaps a few "friends", so far as those served their interests. In short, I understood that nothing has fundamentally changed, except that the top pirates today are found in boardrooms and the halls of government, rather than sailing ships.

With Campaign 2016 set squander its final millions, I thought that a pirate song that focuses on the nastiness rather than the romance seemed appropriate. But you know - I think those guys still came out smelling like a rose!


We flies the Jolly Roger
As we sails across the seas
From the frigid North Atlantic
To the sultry Caribbees
We pillages and scuttles
Every ship we sees!

We're mariners bold
We won't live to be old
We'll die swingin' high
On the bleedin’ scaffold
Or drowned in the ocean
Deep and cold
Yo ho! Yo ho!
Hoist the Jolly Roger!

Ye might think it’s romantic
How we drink and whore and gloat
But you will panic frantic
When away your gold we tote
And you feel our glitterin' steel
A-slicing through yer throat!


Ye read of our adventures
Safe back upon the shore
If we meet at sea
Shark bait ye'll be
And ye won't come back no more
Avast and - gasp yer last
In a swirl o' salty gore!

We gets satisfaction
From inflicting misery
As we take from decent folk
Their life and property
Bad luck to 'em, the bilge rats!
Bad luck to 'em, says we!


With many a comely maiden
We had our wicked way
Then we had her walk the plank
And then we sailed away
We left ‘er diddlin' Davy Jones
And we’d do it again today!