Thursday, 10 March 2016

The Captain was a Ladies' Man

These are the lyrics to a Sea Shanty I was inspired to write earlier this week. You see, in addition to the poetry lark, I'm currently rehearsing as part of a group called the Lytham St Annes Shanty Singers, formed by my mate Joel in the latter third of last year.

The title of the piece says it all really. Imagine a group of sailors reminiscing about a skipper they shared; a man who seemed to have a romantic dalliance in every port and ended up having to scarper.

Performance notes:
A soloist sings the first and fourth line of each verse (shown in italics), and everyone sings the rest. The Chorus is sang after each verse. Optionally, a second soloist can sing the second and fifth lines, with a different person responding in each verse.

The Captain was a Ladies' Man


Do you remember Jack the Lad?
Best skipper that we ever had
We do! We do! The things the captain used to do…
Jack Dawes he was a ladies’ man
But with a low attention span!
No way – he’d stay – And that is why we say…

CHORUS
The captain was a ladies’ man
A girl in every port
And half the time we set to sea
To stop him being caught.
Aboard the ship he’d run the crew
With fair and steady hand
But once ashore again he’d be –
Jack Dawes the ladies’ man.

Do you remember in St Annes?
Was that the time they read the banns?
We do! We do! The things the captain used to do…
He liked the girl but not to wed
He grabbed his boots and off he fled
No way – he’d stay – And that is why we say…

Do you remember Grimsby town?
The time the blonde twins tracked him down?
We do! We do! The things the captain used to do…
He won the game of hide-and-seek
He smelled of haddock all that week!
No way – he’d stay – And that is why we say…

Do you remember Rotterdam?
The time he got into a jam?
We do! We do! The things the captain used to do…
The green light that he thought he saw
Was red and not worth paying for,
No way – he’d stay – And that is why we say…

Do you remember in Bangkok
The time we spent a week in dock?
We do! We do! The things the captain used to do…
He ran off after quite a shock
It was a man inside a frock!
No way – he’d stay – And that is why we say…

Do you remember when he died?
The mourners came from far and wide (aah)
We do! We do! The things the captain used to do…
But even then we had to smile
With six wives fighting in the aisle!
He did – not stay – And that is why we say…

[Rehearsal performance on YouTube: https://youtu.be/vv0AJyLCXWg  ]