The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #112034   Message #2367525
Posted By: Charley Noble
16-Jun-08 - 09:29 PM
Thread Name: Sea songs for children
Subject: RE: Sea songs for children

You done good! ;~)

I find that children enjoy complex songs, songs with lots of gore but where no one really gets hurt. Here's one from John Masefield where I've channeled a tune:

From SALT-WATER POEMS AND BALLADS, edited by John Masefield, published by The Macmillan Company, New York, US, © 1921, pp. 64-65.
Adapted by Charles Ipcar, 10/3/07
After "On the Range of the Buffalo"
Key: Cm (3/Am)
A Ballad of John Silver

We were schooner-rigged and rakish, with a long and slend-or hull,
And we flew the fearsome colours of the cross-bones and the skull;
We'd a big black Jolly Roger, flapping grimly at the fore,
And we sailed the Spanish Wa-a-ters in those happy days of yore.

We'd a long brass gun amidships, like a well-conducted ship,
We had each a brace of pistols and a cutlass at the hip;
It's a point which weighs against us, and a fact to be deplored –
That we chased the goodly merchant-men and laid ourselves aboard.

Then the dead men fouled the scuppers and the wounded filled the chains,
And the paint-work all was spatter-dashed with other people's brains,
They were boarded, they were looted, they were scuttled till they sank,
And the pale survivors left us by the medium of the plank.

Then, having washed the blood away, we'd little else to do
Than to dance a lively hornpipe, as the old salts taught us to;
Oh the fiddling on the fo'c's'le, and the slapping barefoot soles,
And the genial "Down the middle, Jake, and curtsey when she rolls!"


Oh the fiddling on the fo'c's'le, I can still recall,
And the clash of pike and cutlass, and the roar of cannon ball;
How I miss them feisty pirates with that black flag at the fore,
When we cruised the Spanish waters in those happy days of yore!

Ah! the pig-tailed, feisty pirates and the pretty pranks we played,
All have since been put a stop-to by the naughty Board of Trade;
The schooners and their merry crews are laid away to rest,
A little south the sunset – in the Islands of the Blest. (CHO)

Here's a link to a MP3 file of the above song: click here for website

Charley Noble