The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138169   Message #3162175
Posted By: GUEST,Alan Whittle
29-May-11 - 12:31 PM
Thread Name: John Masefield-Songs from Poems (PermaThread)
Subject: RE: John Masefield-Songs from Poems (PermaThread)
Do you think any people will be interested in singing my version? I feel all grown up - like a real folksinger! Writing out chords for my own song. I'm sorry it looks okay in this little box but the first line comes out wrong Its D on schooner in the first line, which changes to G on the word 'long'. Similarly on the line we each had a brace of pistils theres a D on Had and a A7 on hip.

Its a three chord trick - complicated by the fact that the three chords are in DADGAD (which makes my version a bit ponderous in my book!)

A Ballad of John Silver
(John Masefield with ammendments and a tune and chorus from Alan Whittle)
                                                                            d                                  g
We were schooner-rigged and rakish, with a long and lissome hull,
       D                              a7
And we flew the pretty colours of the cross-bones and the skull;
       d                      g
Yes our Jolly Roger flapping, gamely at the fore,
   d                                  a7            d
We sailed the Spanish Waters, in the jolly days of yore.
We'd a long brass gun amidships, like a well-conducted ship,                                                                        d                                             a7
We each had, a brace of pistols and a cutlass at our hip;
      d                                     g
Oh we were such naughty pirates,   you will certainly deplore
                                                                        d                                     a7                d
We chased   goody goody merchant-men and laid their ships aboard.
(Improvised arghhh!)Chorus
Oh cut and let rip!
Was the way on Flints old ship
    D                a7
Cos dead men tell no tales
Oh Me and Billy Bones
We sent 'em down to Davy Jones
                               a7               d
Weren't we the jolliest gang o' cutthroats under sail

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,
She was boarded, she was looted, she was scuttled till she sank,
And the pale survivors left us by walking of the plank.
Then while standing by the taffrail, lounging on the poop)
We could hear the drowning folk lament the absent chicken-coop;
Then, having washed the blood away, we'd little else to do
Than to dance a jolly hornpipe, like pirates tend to do
O! the fiddle on the fo'c's'le, and the slapping naked soles,
And the genial "Down the middle, Jake, and curtsey when she rolls!"
With the silver seas around us and the pale moon overhead,
And the look-out not real looking, but his pipe-bowl glowing red.
Ah! the pig-tailed, quidding pirates and the rotten tricks we played,
They've all been put a stop-to, by that nasty Board of Trade;
The schooners and the merry crews are laid away to rest,
A little south of sunset, in the Islands of the Blest.
So every setting of the sun
I fills me glass right up with rum
We as survived – our beards are old and grey
But we remember plain as print
Our dear Old Captain Flint, and his very genial orders of the day
(music and chorus and amendments to John Masefield's lyric by Alan Whittle ©December 2007)