Monday, 16 June 2014

My Top Ten Pirate Songs

Ahoy and avast, me hearties... get a load of this booty!

Special mentions to Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, Pete & The Pirates, Peggy Sue & The Pirates and The Streets - Original Pirate Material.

10. Ocean Colour Scene - Policemen & Pirates

Close your eyes and it's 1996 again, we're all still young and the world's our pearl-filled oyster.

9. Jimmy Buffet - A Pirate Looks At 40

Speaking of feeling one's age...

Yes I am a pirate, two hundred years too late
The cannons don't thunder, there's nothin' to plunder
I'm an over-forty victim of fate
Arriving too late, arriving too late...

8. Adam Ant - Jolly Roger

Not content with being the Dandy Highwayman, Adam Ant takes to the high seas...

7. Thea Gilmore - Pirate Moon

Thea Gilmore songs are like buried treasure on youtube - terribly difficult to dig up. Thank god X marked the spot on this one - it's gorgeous.

6. The Pogues - Turkish Song of the Damned

Because every Pogues song sounds like it's sung by a lairy, drunken sea captain, I figured I'd have no problem including them in this list. Especially as one of their greatest albums is called Rum, Sodomy & The Lash. I was rather surprised then by how long it took me to track down an appropriate tune... but this one saved the day. Read the full story behind it - and its rather bizarre genesis - here.

5. Rickie Lee Jones - Pirates (So Long Lonely Avenue)

A strange and beautiful song in which the pirates are metaphorical and melancholic.

4. Tom Waits - Shiver Me Timbers

In later years, Tom Waits would come to resemble a real life pirate in both vocals and appearance (in fact, only Keith Richards and Shane MacGowan could beat him in a Captain Pugwash Lookalike Contest). Back in 1974, when this was released though... they'd have made him walk the plank as an imposter. Still gorgeous, despite that...

And the fog's liftin'
And the sand's shiftin'
I'm driftin' on out
Ol' Captain Ahab
He ain't got nothin' on me
So come and swallow me, follow me
I'm trav'lin' alone
Blue water's my daughter
'n I'm gonna skip like a stone

3. Lambchop - National 'Talk Like a Pirate' Day

Ah-harrgh, you scurvy landlubbers... part of me would prefer it if Kurt Wagner made up this day... yet it turns out it's an actual phenomenon (September 19th, if you're interested). Which may even be better.

Without your eye patch and your parrot
I've been informed it's National Talk Like A Pirate Day
Perhaps this singing is a refuge
From other equally uncomfortable thoughts

2. Warren Zevon - Mutineer

Warren would have had no problem talking like a pirate... he even begins this song:

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Hoist the mainsail - here I come...

Like much of this amazing songwriter's work, however, he manages to make his playful lyrics heartfelt and affecting. The more I listen to Warren Zevon, the more I want to hear.

1. Cosmo Jarvis - Gay Pirates

A song so good Stephen Fry tweeted it, Cosmo's Gay Pirates tells of the doomed love affair between two pirates who are victimised because of their sexuality. Both hilarious and heartbreaking, it's a real triumph.

And I'm sick of being beaten
And whipped and lashed to death,
I want one night with no gang-rape
But I won't hold my breath.

But it's you my love
You're my land ahoy
Yeah, you're my boy

Those were my favourite pirate songs... but which one blows you down?


  1. Replies
    1. Dr Hook will have his day in my Top Ten Sleazy Chat Up Lines...

  2. "We're going...... thiswaythatway.. forwardsandbackwards...overtheirishsea.... abottleofrumtowarmmetum... andthatsthelifeforme" *slaps thigh*

    Oh and Mr 'it's got to have a youtube link to be a proper song'

    1. Aww... and you uploaded that just for me? That's dedication.

  3. Hi Rol, you have managed to stump me again. I got nothing on this topic!

    So I will leave you with a lame dad joke, from one dad to another

    Q - Why are pirates called pirates?

    A - Because they arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    PS - thanks for stopping by my blog and catching up.
    PPS - how are you finding those new Aussie albums that you got based on my list?

    1. If that's your best joke, Deano, stick to the music lists! ;-)

      PPS Enjoyed the Kate Miller-H and Living End... still to give a proper listen to some of the others. In time...

  4. ooh...I finally have one for you - Jim Jones by Bob Dylan

    Jim Jones is convicted of a crime - his punishment, transportation to Australia. On the way there, the prison ship is attacked by pirates and the convicts find themselves in the unique position of fighting the pirates to protect the prison ship when actually they probably would rather join the pirates. Here is a link to the lyrics:

    1. Thanks, Deano - well worth the wait.


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