Yeah, so it's Talk Like A
Wanker Pirate Day* and while, usually, memes like that want to make me stab myself in the face because the funny was sucked out years ago, on this occasion I'll make a brief exception. Kinda. Actually, I was gonna make this post anyway, but realising yesterday it's the said day beloved of people in need of a slap, I figured I'd time it right, even if it makes my own head hurt.
So, no, I won't be talking like a pirate, but instead pulling out a few nautical themed songs which I made an album of a few weeks ago.
Every year you hear the old faithfuls being cranked out - A Pirate's Life for Me, The Worst Pirate in the World, Pirate Song, etc etc, so I figured I'd point out a few equally appropriate, but lesser known tunes.
Relax, I resisted the urge to include the Nirvana/Destiny's Child mash up Smells Like Teen Booty as I thought that was stretching the theme too far. And much as I love A Pirate Looks at 40 by Jimmy Buffett, it's more country than sea shanty, so we skim that one too.
So, here goes:
1. The Sex Pistols - Frigging in the Rigging
Yeah, okay, it's an obvious choice to start. The Pistols take on the old drunken rugby song standard lacks Johnny Rotten, but it's tosses in a jolly nautical arrangements and sound effects and whistling cannonballs in his place. The Pistols in name only, recorded after Rotten had quit and Vicious was spiralling toward destruction and murder. If you don't like this take, try:
2. Loudon Wainwright III - The Good Ship Venus
Same song (hey, guess what word rhymes with venus?!) with the same level of crudity, but more traditional sea shanty style without the bells and whistles. Now we've got the knob gags out of the way we can move forward to the proper stuff.
3. The Pogues - Turkish Song of the Damned
Ghost ships. Leaping corpses. Stolen booty. Walking dead. Yep, piratey themes meet ghost story in the best way, with Shane McGowan's drunken vocals sounding as appropriately shambolic as can be.
4. Sunken Chest - Come All Ye Mateys
I think the band name and the song title pretty much sum up the piratey-ness of this one. Apparently they just do pirate themed songs, so they should have it down to a fine art by now. It's certainly distilled pirate with a rum chaser.
5. Sting - Blood Red Roses
More traditional nautical worksong than piratey, per se, but it was on the Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys album, so certainly fit to include here. And while Sting and pirate aren't two words that you'd necessarily put together, he's got an appropriate growl which certainly fits the theme.
6. Great Big Sea - Captain Kidd
A song about one of the most famous pirates of all time certainly deserves to be here. Although there's some doubt as to whether he was as black as he's painted in this song, more pivateer than buccaneer, it's undoubtedly a good rollocking sea shanty with plenty of damnation and murder.
7. Joe Strummer - Redemption Song
Okay, okay, I'm stretching things here by including a Bob Marley cover, but to be fair, it does include a chorus about pirates and Stummer's throaty growl, part Clash, part Cash, sounds as piratey as piratey can be without the addition of parrot and peg leg.
8. Flogging Molly - Seven Deadly Sins
Right back squarely into solid pirate territory with the folk indie celtic punk rock combo. As the Sex Pistols say, they give it some bollocks and the sound doesn't disappoint with kitchen sink arrangement, driving beat, snarling vocals and a tale of drunken pirates. A less obvious choice than their "Pirate Song" at least.
9. Jack Shit - Boney Was A Warrior
This traditional Napoleonic era sea shanty gets a snarly, rough and ready take from the charmingly named Jack Shit, a band who appear, appropriately enough, to be a Metallica made up of growling tramps.
10. Roger McGuinn - Jolly Roger
The frontman of the Byrds surprises with a wonderful tale of piracy, all keel hauling, Spanish seas, English clippers, chests full of gold and scurvy buccaneers. I liked this song when I first heard it and it's quickly become a song I don't just like, but love. Folksy but raw, it's the perfect pirate song.
(All mp3s deleted after seven days, for review purposes only. If you require they be taken down before that time, contact me.)
*Shamelessly stolen from WarrenEllis.com