Casaubon's Book

My children are pirates right now. There’s a fallen tree in the woods that makes a superb pirate ship, and my children have boarded and captured it. And they are singing pirate songs. Loudly. It is a very good thing that we live so far from other human habitation – if we lived in the ‘burbs the neighbors would kill us.

So appropos to nothing, I’m sharing a collection of pirate songs, in the hopes that you won’t notice that I haven’t written much of anything this week. If I gotta listen to them, you gotta listen to them. It may, of course, be our fault for teaching the boys pirate songs, but I’ll think of someone else to blame for the 6:30 am serenade eventually. I’ll also come up with some connection to the theme of this blog by the end of the post, I swear.

I don’t like the stupid illustrations in this videoification, but Joseph Arthur’s “High Barbary” has one of the best bass voices around. I’m a sucker for a deep bass – I turn into a puddle of melted blogiste, so you just have to endure (it doesn’t sound quite the same sung by an eight year old and a four year old, particularly when the four year old calls is “Pie Barbara-lee”

If I were a good Mom I probably wouldn’t have taught my children the song “All for Me Grog,” but we already knew I wasn’t a good Mom. The boys like Dan Zane’s version better, but I like the Dubliners.

Ok, I’ve found someone to blame – the whole pirate thing stems from Dan Zane’s album of sea chantys, which my children have adored for years. Asher’s favorite song as a baby was “Cape Cod Girls” and now the children love to sing “Pay Me My Money Down” at their parents (yeah, right guys).

Unfortunately, the only video version is really way too cutesy, but I include it anyway. Gotta give the man credit for teaching little kids songs about drinking, bars and jail.

Ok, this is one we have not taught our children, and will not be teaching them. I present this to those who need an antidote for the cute Dan Zanes piece, and it is awesome, but it is definitely adults only:

And finally, the children’s favorite – by far (since a reader suggested this song as appropriate for another thread, you have *no idea* how many times I’ve heard the kids sing this song), and the one most appropriate to this blog. Agricultural symphonic heave ho! What’s not to love?

I’m still working on the connection, so here’s another version, by Captain Tractor, of the Last Saskatchewan Pirate. This one is my kids’ favorite – they love the kids acting it out. If you’ve got six year olds in your life, this is their kind of thing:

Ok, the connection…oh, yeah, of course, most sea chanteys were invented to help people doing heavy, monotonous work pass the time at hauling ropes and other drudgery. So while you and your beloved are out there planting six thousand onion sets, digging new raised beds or harvesting, you too can sing Pirate songs to make the time go faster.

Try this one for Asher next time you are pulling weeds – we like it a little faster, but then, I can’t do with my voice what Baby Gramps can do with his:

See, I knew there would be a point…eventually. Happy weekend!

Sharon

Comments

  1. #1 Steve
    May 27, 2010

    Don’t forget these great songs too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RisL9l8HzmM

  2. #2 Susan
    May 27, 2010

    We LOVE the Arrogant Worms around here! And Pirate songs. And the Dubliners. (Nick Cave, not so much) DH and I have a embarrassingly large repertoire of all of their songs that we amuse ourselves with on guitar and mandolin. Occasionally we even torture our friends on group camping trips :) We do encourage others bringing their guitars and joining in though.

  3. #3 Lynne
    May 27, 2010

    Thanks Sharon! It’s 6:30 am here and I’m washing windows and making granola. I’ve got the laptop playing these songs – makes washing windows a helluva lot more fun.

  4. #4 karin
    May 27, 2010

    What no Pirate KIng?

    My husband is a classically trained vocalist and I still get weak in the knees when he belts that one out!

  5. #5 Diane
    May 27, 2010

    Legal technicality: Do privateers count as pirates? If so Barrett’s Privateers by the late Stan Rogers is great for belting out and blasphemous rather than naughty.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-PQbdmQRwc

  6. #6 Carole
    May 27, 2010

    Hi – Young pirates might like “The Pirate Song”, here: http://www.davidrovics.com/kids/songChest.php
    and although it’s not pirate-related, “Don’t Fall into the Toilet” is also quite catchy.

  7. #7 K.B.
    May 28, 2010

    Glad you’re enjoying the Last Saskatchewan Pirates!! And I second the “Barrett’s Privateers” recommendation… “How I wish I was in Sherbrook now…”

  8. #8 Glenn
    May 28, 2010

    Despite adding a lot of _extra_ Anglo-Saxon terms for sexual reproduction, they left the punchline off “Fire Down Below”. In all the trad. versions I’ve heard the final verse refers to a firey pain while passing water since the encounter with the parson’s daughter… It’s kind of pathetic when those who seek to shock us by modifying traditional songs fail to include the truly funny bits.

    Glenn

  9. #9 Greenpa
    June 2, 2010

    Lovely stuff, Sharon. I like the little Copland hommage there at the beginning of the orchestral version.

    Anything with very broad appeal fascinates me; as a way to dig deeper into the universe. Bacon is my favorite example- you can attract anything from fish to bears with it. Why do mice love the aroma of smoked salted pig?

    The attraction of the pirate “aarrr” seems to be another. Now just exactly WHY is that so universally loved, imitated, and usually responded to and amplified; by all ages and across generations?

    Say aarrrr to someone, and the probability is 93.47% that they will say it right back to you; and 86.31% that it will be at least an hour before the urge to aarrr is extinguished among all those present at the time of the initial utterance.

    Figure that out, and you’ll have a critical insight into the Meaning of Life, I’m quite sure.

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