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Lyr Req: The Ghostly Ship (David HB Drake)

GUEST,Darlodave 27 Sep 10 - 11:50 AM
Johnjo 27 Sep 10 - 07:16 PM
Johnjo 28 Sep 10 - 04:23 AM
GUEST,Darlodave 28 Sep 10 - 04:53 AM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Sep 10 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,Jan 29 Sep 10 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,Bert Hobo 29 Sep 10 - 05:37 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: The Ghostly Ship
From: GUEST,Darlodave
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 11:50 AM

Looking for the lyrics to the above sea song recorded by a Dutch group, I think, called Paddy's Passion. Can anyone assist please.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ghostly Ship
From: Johnjo
Date: 27 Sep 10 - 07:16 PM

is it the version by the Wisconsin singer/songwriter David HB Drake? If so, you can find the lyrics via his website I've got them on my deaktop and will try and post tomorrrow morning, when I get back from the dentist.

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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GHOSTLY SHIP (David HB Drake)
From: Johnjo
Date: 28 Sep 10 - 04:23 AM

David HB Drake / © September 6, 1989
(A cappella)

When you're standing watch on a foggy night
        The hour is late and there's no moonlight
When the rum is warm and the air is cold
        It makes you dream of the ships of old...
Then the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

Well you hear a creak and you hear a groan
        And you strain your eyes looking o'er the foam
Then there comes a ship from across the wave
        Sent from Hell and a salty grave
And the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

She's an old square-rig running up ahead
        With her sails full blown and they look blood-red
Her blackened spars fill your heart with dread
        The ship's a ghost with a crew so dead
When the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

Then you swear to the stars that your eyes can lie
        For the ship she hoves up into the sky
And her skeleton crew gives an erie cry
        That shivers your soul as she passes by
When the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

Run to the Captain, run to the Mate
        To tell of the sight and the tale relate
Of the ship that flies and her ghostly crew
        And the pirate shades calling after you
When the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

Then the Captain speaks in a solemn tone
        "Aye, there's such a ship with the blackened bones...
A crew from Hell and her sails of flame,
        The Flying Dutchman it is her name!"
When the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

"Did you see her, lad, on this foggy night?
        Did she call to you, did you have a fright?
Did she run full-sail, but against the wind,
        Or is this be a tale made of Rum and Gin?"
When the Dutchman goes a-sailing.

"For if it be Rum, you're a drunken sot,
        And if it be Gin, then you lie a lot!
But if it be true, to God pray thee,
        For we're the next to be lost at sea."
When the Dutchman goes a-sailing.


The song appears on David's album Fisherman's Beach. You can download the whole album, or individual tracks from CDBaby at

The lyrics are at:'s%20Beach.doc

Hope this helps - It's a cracking song - goes very well when accompanied on a G/D concertina.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ghostly Ship
From: GUEST,Darlodave
Date: 28 Sep 10 - 04:53 AM

Many thanks Johnjo, it is as you say a cracking song. Thanks again.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ghostly Ship
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Sep 10 - 10:24 AM

Yes,indeed. Thanks.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ghostly Ship
From: GUEST,Jan
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 05:19 AM

I emailed David Drake ( the author of the song) for you and he provided the lyrics and this little story about how he came to write it - he asked me to share it with you ....

The back-story of the song, if you're interested, is that I was at the helm of the HMS Bounty (the ship in the Marlon Brando version of "Mutiny on the Bounty") traveling through the Straits of Mackinac about 4am in the fog. We picked up a large carrier coming toward us on radar and hailed them on the radio. We talked back and forth in the dark ( he didn't realize we were a replica of a 200 year old tall ship) till we made visual contact, at which point he yelled "What the F**k is that?" as we rolled out of a fog-bank.

It got me to thinking about ghost ships and I wrote the song, using the most famous of Ghost Ships, the Flying Dutchman.   That was on September 6, 1989. It's ironic that some 20 years later the next generation knows the story of The Flying Dutchman because of the Pirates of the Carribean movies, but the song WAY predates that.

This is one of the best songs for some time - thanks to Paddy's Passon for introducing me to it


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Ghostly Ship
From: GUEST,Bert Hobo
Date: 29 Sep 10 - 05:37 PM

Hi, Jan

Nice that you like our song, we pick the song up during the Chicago Maritime festival, where David was playing.
After the first few notes I already like it. Then David was playing on his guitar, then I though this is something for a concertina.
After getting the CD from him I was suprised that it was already with concertina. During the festival, we play some instrumental songs together with Nanne Kalma, John Towley, Tom Kastle and me.
That was really great. I keep David on the news about his song, It was a while on scuttlebut radio.
If you going to do this song you will find out that is ever beter than you think. A great compliment to David H. Drake

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