Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys

Aye, this is a CD I shall be purchasin’.

Leering, full of menace and the threat of pain, “15 Men on a Dead Man’s Chest” is arguably the most famous pirate song ever committed to tape (and thanks to its refrain, “Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum,” it also ranks among the more pro-booze sing-alongs in the children’s section of the music store).

But as a genre, pirate music remains obscure even by musicologists’ standards. To spotlight a genre that has all but disappeared ? as well as cannily promote their summer blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” ? Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski commissioned an expansive compendium of such seafarer music, “Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys,” due Aug. 22 on Anti- Records. Its 43 tracks include contributions from Sting, Bono, Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed, Loudon Wainwright III, Van Dyke Parks and Bryan Ferry among an eclectic roster.

I need to be thinkin’ about restorin’ Pirate Mode here, too. The place is gettin’ too…lubberly.


  1. #1 Ichthyic
    August 12, 2006

    hmm, will ye be a bringin’ back some good ‘ol fashioned keel-haulin’ for the trolls?

    My hull could use the back of a few of your creobots to be scrapin’ the barnacles off.

  2. #2 Ichthyic
    August 13, 2006

    Me hull could use th’ aft o’ a wee o’ yer creobots t’ be scrapin` th’ barnacles off.

    Works great!


    Ya horn swogglin’ scurvy cur!

  3. #3 Ichthyic
    August 13, 2006

    ah, this thread brings back memories.

    I used to teach maritime history and marine biology on board the only replica of the Pilgrim (think: Two Years Before the Mast). We used to rig it up to look like the Beagle and have kind of an ‘evolution camp” for kids on board ship. Otherwise it was strict maritime history via re-enactment of the Pilgrim’s primary mission, which was shipping cattle hides from the CA coastline.

    It was a blast, and many a sea chanty were sung.

    man, that was so long ago now… 1988 IIRC. I guess they still do it:

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