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Lyr Add: The Pirate of the Isles

Q (Frank Staplin) 18 Sep 09 - 07:51 PM
Artful Codger 19 Sep 09 - 05:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Sep 09 - 07:45 PM
Anglo 20 Sep 09 - 01:41 AM
Artful Codger 20 Sep 09 - 02:02 PM
Artful Codger 20 Sep 09 - 02:16 PM
Ged Fox 05 May 12 - 04:54 PM
Charley Noble 05 May 12 - 05:16 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: PIRATE OF THE ISLES
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 07:51 PM

Lyr. Add: PIRATE OF THE ISLES
Anon. c. 1860

A hearty band I do command,
Of Pirates bold and free,
My law is my own, my ship is my throne,
My kingdon is on the sea;
My flag is red, at the royal mast head,
On all my foes I smile,
No quarter show where'er I go
But the prize we soon will take in tow.

Chorus:
My men are tried, my bark is my pride,
My men are tried, my bark is my pride,
For I'm the pirate of the Isles,
I'm the pirate, I'm the pirate,
I'm the pirate of the Isles.

2
We luff a sail in a pleasant gale,
O'er the dark and bounding sea;
With a prize in view, we will heave her too,
And we'll haul her under our lea; [lee]
We'll give three cheers, then homeward steer,
While fortune on us smiles,
None came across that famed La Ross,
But to him they had to strike their course.
3
Ye Princely sons of Spanish Dons,
With zeal and ardour burn,
Came o'er the sea, to conquer me,
But back have never returned;
Proud England too, doth me pursue,
At all her threats I smile,
Her men I've slain, her ships detain,
Burnt and sunk them on the main.
4
There heaves in sight a ship of might,
She is a Yankee Seventy-Four,
She stops her course and hails La Ross,
And a broadside she does pour;
The Pirate soon returns the boon,
While proudly doth he smile,
When a fatal ball caused him to fall,
And loudly for quarter his men did call.

Chorus 2:
In the briny deep, he is lain to sleep,
In the briny deep, he is lain to sleep,
Once the pirate of the Isles,
Once the pirate of the Isles,
Once the pirate, once the pirate,
Once the pirate of the Isles.

H. De Marsan, Publishers, NY.
This pirate song might be modified for children.

In a website about Mary of the Wild Moor, it is noted that Henry Mayhew talked with the composer (unnamed) who composed song sheets for a shilling or so. This song sheet writer (English) also wrote "Husband's Dream" (not found), and "Demon of the Sea," which I will post later.
Like a number of these song sheets, they were distributed and copied on both sides of the ocean.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pirate of the Isles
From: Artful Codger
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 05:26 PM

Tiny correction: The publisher was "(de) Marsan".

There are three copies of this song at the Bodley Ballads site. Two are undated, the third is from ca. 1850. They tend to vary most in the patterns used for the chorus (which bits are repeated and when). One gives the air as "A life on the deep", possibly meaning "A life on the ocean wave, a home on the rolling deep" (music by Henry Russell, 1838), a huge hit in its day. But given the variety of chorus patterns, I suspect it was sung to other tunes as well.

This song may have been discussed in other threads, but as the search engine is temporarily down for me, I can't verify this. In searching for information on "Le Ross", here's the best guesses I came up with:

The Mary Rose, a 16th century warship built by Henry VIII.

Philip Ras, a Dutch privateer and captain of the ship Heat, active in the 1650s in the "First English War".

George Ross, who, along with George Dunkin, William Eddy and Neal Patterson, was found guilty of piracy and hanged at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1718.

Murad Rais (Peter Lisle/Lyle), a Scottish pirate and Barbary corsair, captain of the Betsy, renamed Meshuda, active from 1796 to 1832. Given such a successful and long-lasting career, he would have been fresh within memory when this song was composed, though it would be hard to mistake this wild Barbarian for a Frenchman!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pirate of the Isles
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 07:45 PM

I have posted several H. De Marsan song sheets, sorry to have mis-spelled his name this time.
I don't see that 'La Ross-Le Ross' of the song sheets need be tied to any factual pirate.
The date is c. 1850, guessing from when Mayhew's talk with the unnamed author took place.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pirate of the Isles
From: Anglo
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 01:41 AM

I heard Ken Sweeney sing this at the late night chantey sing at the Mystic Sea Music Festival a few years ago. Absolutely fabulous! (Helped of course, by a couple of beers, I'm sure :-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pirate of the Isles
From: Artful Codger
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 02:02 PM

What tune did he use?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Pirate of the Isles
From: Artful Codger
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 02:16 PM

La Ross (Le Ross in the other broadsides) may not refer to an actual ship (or pirate), but "famed La Ross" implies that it probably does, as well as the way the name is dropped.

Furthermore, the mention of the French and Spanish being afflicted suggests that Barbary pirates are to blame, and Murad Rais's career was finally brought to an end when he was struck down by a cannonball, as in the song--1832. Just a coincidence?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Pirate of the Isles
From: Ged Fox
Date: 05 May 12 - 04:54 PM

The Pirate of the Isle, as found in The Naval Song Book, 1907?

Oh I command a sturdy band of pirates bold and free.
No laws I own, my ship's my throne, my kingdom is the Sea.
My flag is red at the topmast head, on all my foes I smile,
I no quarter show where'er I go, and soon I take the prize in tow;
My men are tried, My bark's my bride; My men are tried, My bark's my bride;
I'm the Pirate of the Isle! I'm the Pirate of the Isle!

I love to sail in a pleasant gale On the deep and boundless sea,
With a prize in view, and bring her to And haul her under our lee;
Then give three cheers and homeward steer, When fortune on us smile.
No-one ever crossed the famed Le Ross, But to my flag they struck of course.
My men etc

Those French bonbons and Spanish dons With ardent zeal they burn
Came out to sea to capture me, but never back returned;
And England too doth me pursue, At all her threats I smile;
Eight ships I've ta'en, their men I've slain, I've burnt and sunk them on the main!
My men etc.

But now's in sight a ship of might, A British seventy-four;
She hails Le Ross and stops his course, And broadsides from her pour.
The pirate soon returns the boon, And proudly he does smile,
But a fatal ball has caused his fall, And now his men for quarter call,
In the briny deep he's laid to sleep; In the briny deep he's laid to sleep;
Oh the Pirate, oh, the Pirate, Oh, the Pirate of the Isle.


""I'm the Pirate of the Isles," a most thrilling tale of the genuine Pirate of the Isle of Pines, the terror of the Spanish Main"

Unknown author – early C19th. Acknowledgement given in Naval Songbook to Rev Goodenough, possibly just for the arrangement.


In "THE MUSIC OF THE WATERS" 1888, LAURA ALEXANDRINE SMITH refers confidently to ""I'm the Pirate of the Isles," a most thrilling tale of the genuine Pirate of the Isle of Pines, the terror of the Spanish Main." Personally, I don't think it's meant to be historical, but, given 'Le Ross,' I'd agree with Artful Codger that it hints at one (or all) of the Barbarossa brothers, the Pirates of the Isle of Lesbos.

Sung here to the Naval Song Book tune:
http://youtu.be/jgZvwpxkckc


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Pirate of the Isles
From: Charley Noble
Date: 05 May 12 - 05:16 PM

I also remember Ken Sweeney leading this song in dramatic fashion at Mystic a few years back.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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