Sunday, 18 October 2015

If You Were A Pirate

Some friends and I have just started rehearsals to learn some Sea Shanties that we're intending to perform for charity at one or more local festivals next year. 

This poem comprises the lyrics for a shanty I wrote today, given a modern day slant. 

The parts in italics are sung by the entire group, the rest being for the soloist. Please forgive the inexact rhyme in verse four

If You Were A Pirate

I spend my life behind a desk and do the work of three
    (That’s not the life for you, me boy – There’s things that you can do)
The management ignore us yet they will not let us be
    (Just leave that life behind, me boy – Come join us in our crew.)

CHORUS 1:    For if you were a pirate
    We’d make ‘em walk the plank
    You’d watch ‘em sink beneath the waves
    And we would watch your flank.


REFRAIN:    Yes, if you were a pirate
     You'd do just what you please
    We'd raise the Jolly Roger
    And we'd sail the seven seas.

They change their minds incessantly and then they change ‘em back
    (That’s not the life for you, me boy – There’s things that you can do)
And we are left to clear their mess and cope with all the flack.
    (Just leave that life behind, me boy – Come join us in our crew.)

CHORUS 2:    For if you were a pirate
    We’d hang ‘em from the mast
    You’d watch ‘em swing and leave behind
    That old life in your past.

REFRAIN

The figures that they say they want increase from week to week
    (That’s not the life for you, me boy – There’s things that you can do)
And yet they never use the stats but say the future’s bleak.
    (Just leave that life behind, me boy – Come join us in our crew.)
   
CHORUS 3:    For if you were a pirate
    A cutlass in your hand
    You’d lay ‘em waste before your blade
    And leave this stinkin’ land.

REFRAIN

They hint at new redundancies to keep us all in line
    (That’s not the life for you, me boy – There’s things that you can do)
And want us to work extra hours but won’t pay overtime
    (Just leave that life behind, me boy – Come join us in our crew.)

CHORUS 4:    For if you were a pirate
    We’d haul ‘em ‘neath the keel
    And as they scraped the barnacles
    Just think of how you’d feel.

REFRAIN

They want our corp’rate loyalty and yet it’s all one-way
    (That’s not the life for you, me boy – There’s things that you can do)
Regrade our jobs so we do more but want to cut our pay
    (Just leave that life behind, me boy – Come join us in our crew.)

CHORUS 5:    For if you were a pirate
    You’d gut ‘em with your knife
    You’d spill their innards on the deck
    And make the sea your wife.

REFRAIN

They don’t think they’re responsible for any of this mess
    (That’s not the life for you, me boy – There’s things that you can do)
If only we could find a way so they’d pay for such stress
    (Just leave that life behind, me boy – Come join us in our crew.)

FINAL CHORUS:    Well, if you were a pirate
    We’d make ‘em walk the plank,
    We’d hang ‘em from the mast,
    A cutlass in your hand,
    We’d haul ‘em ‘neath the keel,
    You’d gut ‘em with your knife…
    …Just leave that life behind, me boy
    And make the sea your wife.