Songs of the Sea

Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
written by Pierce Campbell

Story

Written after reading an historical account of a cooper from Mystic, CT who went to sea and ended up getting hung in England a s a pirate, even though he was forced to join a pirate ship crew after his ship got taken by pirates.

Lyrics

Set out from Mystic, West Indies bound We ran from a black flag chasing us down Our Captain surrendered when we were out run We gave them no fight for we were out gunned They took all we had and our ships crew was freed But I was a cooper and the scoundrels had need Being threatened with torture I was forced to sign on I then was a pirate with my freedom gone Farewell to a good wind and a fine rolling sea To fair and foul weather I’ve known Life tacks with no warning changing her course Sometimes we reap what others have sown Sometimes we reap what others have sown They drank and they plundered I worked and I prayed But I knew that my luck would run out one day We were spied by a ship financed by the Crown They caught us in shallow and we ran aground We were taken by force and all put in chains And sent off to trial on the banks of the Thames Proceedings were swift, witnesses few The outcome was certain this we all knew To hang by the neck is a pirate’s last plight With final words spoken at mornings first light Some men broke down with repentance made But I cursed the day that I learned my trade
Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
traditional

Story

The oldest known song about drink!

Lyrics

There were three men come from the West Their fortunes for to try, And these three made a solemn vow: "John Barleycorn must die." They plowed, they sowed, they harrowed him in, Threw clods upon his head, 'Til these three men were satisfied John Barleycorn was dead. They let him lie for a very long time, 'Til the rains from heaven did fall, When little Sir John raised up his head And so amazed them all. They let him stand 'til Mid-Summer's Day When he looked both pale and wan; Then little Sir John grew a long, long beard And so became a man. They hired men with their scythes so sharp To cut him off at the knee; They rolled him and tied him around the waist, And served him barbarously. They hired men with their sharp pitchforks To pierce him to the heart, But the loader did serve him worse than that, For he bound him to the cart. They wheeled him 'round and around the field 'Til they came unto a barn, And there they took a solemn oath On poor John Barleycorn. They hired men with their crab-tree sticks To split him skin from bone, But the miller did serve him worse than that, For he ground him between two stones. There's little Sir John in the nut-brown bowl, And there's brandy in the glass, And little Sir John in the nut-brown bowl Proved the strongest man at last. The huntsman cannot hunt the fox Nor loudly blow his horn And the tinker cannot mend his pots Without John Barleycorn.
Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
written by Pierce Campbell

Story

Written after a conversation with a fellow at the Red Lion Inn, in Stockbridge, MA. He told me this story about the origins of the saying. Let along I had never heard a song called Son Of A Gun, and I wanted one!

Lyrics

My Father was a tailor, never thought he'd be a sailor But pressed into service was he My Mother found out Sunday that his ship was leaving Monday So she stowed away and headed out to sea chorus A son of a gun, a son of a gun, I was born a son of a gun Fol - de - ra, me tide - le - de - dum, I was born a son of a gun As yet they hadn't married, so they knew they couldn't tarry It could be years before they saw the shore The Captain married them that morn, nine months went by and I was born Concieved at sea I'd sail forever more chorus My own ship now I do command, and there's not another ship more grand And the younger lads they all look up to me From battle I have never run, for I was born between the guns And a son of a gun I will always be
Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
written by Pierce Campbell

Story

Any sea song CD written by a New Englander needs a song about Boston on it. One of my favorites to play.

Lyrics

I worked on the farm since I was four years old Always dreaming of adventure and gold I’ll leave my father’s home, to Boston I’ll roam And sail on to places I’ve never been From New England to Spain, I’ll be making my name While seeking out fortune and fame Well I'm going to Boston Town, sail the world take a look around I'm going to Boston town,Gonna laugh with ladies, drink a bucket of ale I'll not sleep a wink, 'cause in the morning I'll sail I'm going to Boston town Heard the hum of the rigging felt the deck’s steady roll Saw doldrums calm and the storm’s savage toll Worked the pumps climbed the mast Fired a cannonades blast, Seen all of the faces of death Now I’ve been at sea for years, shed blood but never tears Now I’m longing for the comforts of land I'm going to Boston town, I've sailed the world, took a look around I'm going to Boston town, take a fast coach back to my hometown Leave the seven sea so I can settle down, I'm going to Boston town Now my son's sixteen and I see the telltale signs That he's drawn to the sea by those stories of mine Regrets I will not keep, nor tears will I weep For the years that I spent out on the sea Now I bid my son farewell, and I'll give him wishes well For soon he'll go through heaven and through hell He says,'m going to Boston Town, sail the world take a look around I'm going to Boston town,Gonna laugh with ladies, drink a bucket of ale I'll not sleep a wink, 'cause in the morning I'll sail I'm going to Boston town
Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
written by Pierce Campbell

Story

Ships set to sea during storms to try and ride them out, but sometimes they didn't make it. One of my favorites to play with Tony backing me up on bass.

Lyrics

The wind shouts her warning, with silent tales spoken Of those lost at sea and survivors left broken The waves start to rise up as darkness is falling The tempest’s dark rage to each man is calling Thoughts turn to families, of widows alone And children with fathers who never came home Pray see the morning, pray see the dawn The wind lashes out taking rigging and mast Those not tied in overboard they are cast Down below deck, men run out of air The cold water rising turns fear to despair As the bow is pulled under, the sea takes her pay For the bounty she gives us most other days Pray see the morning, pray see the dawn After the storm, on shore some were found Offered up by the sea, close to home they had drowned On a high ridge above the fog covered bay At morning’s first light, it’s here that they’re laid Remember says the preacher, we must travel the seas Just know she can take you whenever she please By God’s good grace we travel the sea Just know she can take you whenever she please Pray For the Morning
Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
written by Gordon Lightfoot/Moose Music 1976

Story

This is a classic that I have gotten requests for for years.

Lyrics

The legend live on from the Chippawa home town, on the lake they call Gitcheegoomee The Lake it is said never gives up her dead, when the skys of November turn gloomy 2With a load of iron ore 26 thousand tons more than the Edmond Fitzgerald weighed empty That good ship and crew was bound to be chewed, when the gails of November came early The ship was the pride of the American side, commin' back from some mill in Wisconsin As big freighters go it was bigger than most, with a crew and a captain well seasoned Concluding some tems with a couple of steel firms, when they left fully loaded from Cleveland Then late that night when the ship bel rang, could it be the north wind they was feelin' The winds and the wire made a tattle tale sound, when the waves broke over the railing And every man knew as the captain did too, twas the witch of November come early The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait, as the gails of November came slashin' When afternoon came it was freezing rain, and the face of a hurricane west wind When suppertime came the old cook came on deck, sayin' fellas it's too rough to feed ya At seven pm the main hatchway gave in, he said fellas it's been good to know ya The captain wired in they had water comin in, and the good ship and crew was in peril Later that night when it's light went out of sight, came th wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald Does anyone know where the love of God goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours The searchers all say they'd have made Whitehead Bay, if they'd put fifteen more miles behind her They might have split up or they might have capsized, they may have broke deep and took water And all that remains are the faces and names, of the wives and the sons and the daughters Make your own row Lake Superior says, in the rooms of her ice water mansion Old Michigans steams lack a young mans dreams, the Islands and bays are for sportsman Farther below Lake Ontario,, takes in what Lake Erie can send her And the iron boats go as the mariners all know, with the gails of November remembered In a musty old hall in Detroit they all prayed in the maritime sailor's Cathedral The church bell chimed and rang 29 times, for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald And the ledgend lives on form that Chippawa home town, on the big lake they call Gitchhgoommee Lake Superior they said never gives up her dead, when the gales of November come early
Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
traditional

Lyrics

When I was a young man sure I longed to see the world To sail around the sea in ships and see the sails unfurled I went to see my fortune on the far side of the hill I have wandered far and wide and of travel I’ve had my fill And it’s home boys home, home I’d like to be Home for a while in the old country Where the oak and the ash and the bonnie Rowan tree Are all growing greener in the old country Well I left my love behind me and I sailed across the tide I said that I’d be back again and take her for my bride But many years have gone and passed and still I’m far away I know she is my fond true love and waiting for the day Now I know there’s more to life than to wander and to roam Happiness and peace of mind can best be found at home For money can’t buy happiness and money cannot bind So I’m going home tomorrow to the girl I left behind
Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
written by Pierce Campbell

Story

Written after reading alot of history books about the British Ship Of the Line era.

Lyrics

Father I'm writing to tell you I'm fine But life is hard on a ship of the line Every day's just work wind water and waves My midshipman's berth is foul smelling and stark, The few lamps we have barely hold back the dark We live in the shadows of work wind water and waves chorus Work, wind, water and waves,work, wind, water and waves We live in the shadows of work wind water and waves My quest for commission consumes my whole life Perhaps we should talk of arranging a wife I've not much to offer but work wind water and waves I have three more years 'till my lieutenant's test Toward that day I toil at my best I try to embrace the work wind water and waves chorus Work, wind, water and waves, work, wind, water and waves I try to embrace the work, wind, water and waves bridge Much of the crew is in service by press, against their desire Yet it's a sight to behold how these eight hundred men work as one under fire chorus Work, wind, water and waves,work, wind, water and waves Every day's just work wind water and waves
Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
traditional

Story

A great song first heard done by Planxty, Ireland's first super group of traditional music.

Lyrics

Once I was a waitin' man that lived at home at ease Now I am a mariner who ploughs the angry seas I always loved sea farin' life, I bid my love adieu I shipped as steward and cook me boys, aboard the Kangaroo Chorus Oh I never thought she would prove false or even prove untrue As we sailed away from Milford Bay aboard the Kangaroo Think of me oh think of me she mornfully did sa When you are in a foreign land and I am far away Take this lucky trupenny bit, it'll make you bare in mind That lovin trustin' faithful heart you left in tears behind Cheer up cheer up my own true love, don't weep so bitterly She sobbed, she sighed, she choked, she cried and could not say goodbye I won't be gone for very long, 'tis but a month or two When I will return again of course I'll visit you Our ship it was homeward bound from many a foreign shore And many's the foreign presents unto me love I bore I brought tortoises from Tenerife and toys from Timbuktu A China rat, a Bengal cat and a Bombay cockatoo Paid off I sought her dwelling on a street above the town Where an ancient dame upon the line was hanging out her gown Where is me love, she's vanished sir about six months ago With a smart young man that drives the van for Chapman sons and Co Here's a health to dreams of married life, to soap suds and blue Here's true love and patent starch and washin' soda too I'll go unto some foreign shore, no longer can I stay And with some China Hottentot, I'll throw meself away My love she is no foolish girl her age it is two score Me love she is no spinster she's been married twice before I cannot say it was her wealth that stole me heart away She's a washer in a laundry for one and nine a day
Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
written by Pierce Campbell

Story

Written after a walk in some CT Water Company land and seeing buttons on the groud from and old factory that was located there at a waterfall.

Lyrics

We all worked the mill we’d be working there still But steam took the jobs all away The river was key we thought it would always be Now it doesn’t seem to matter at all We made button for coats brass hardware for boats And fabric we spun by the ton We made rope by the mile and all of the while Never thinking that it could all end Say hello to the river of dreams, say hello to the ways and the means Say hello to the river of dreams, it’s much more than it ever seemed Some will go south, the Mississippi’s wide mouth, calls them down by the score Some will go to sea and sailors they’ll be, as they take up the wind and the oar Some will go west, seduced like the rest of those miners and panners of gold But many remain and stoutly maintain, true wealth is right here to behold Say hello to the river of dreams, say hello to the ways and the means Say hello to the river of dreams, it’s much more than it ever seemed Connecticut’s banks expand with the rains And recede when her skies have turned dry But those who live near hold these seasons all dear And by her side they will live and will die
Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
written by Pierce Campbell
Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
written by Pierce Campbell

Story

A metaphor for many things. Great sung accapella!

Lyrics

I'd not set my sights on a sail since last Sunday That's something unnatural for a sailor ya see So I asked an old man which way to the water For I've got to get back to where a sailor should be chorus Oh lord, please hear my call, for a ship with no water is no ship at all He said to me lad, ya better sit down and listen I've somethin' ta tell ya you'll find grim I fear You've been here since Sunday and it seems you've forgotten But the fact is, ya see, ya can't get there from here I asked the old man for a clear explanation How could it be I can't get to the sea Ya died as a pirate and now you're in Hades And as penance you'll live inland for eternity I then remembered the whole bloody story My life as a scoundel and all my foul deeds I was hung from the yardarm by the Brittish last Sunday I guess ya pay in the end for the life that ya lead This is hell for a brigand if there ever was one No water, no women, no gold blood or rum Old man it is torture without these to live He says "that's the point lad, ya get what ya give"
Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
written by Pierce Campbell

Story

Written about a shipwreck near Scotland. It turns out my Great Grandmother was named Genevieve and I never knew.

Lyrics

It seems so long ago, in silence she slipped away from me Into the arms of a jealous angry sea With a hunger of years, the wind swept waters could not wait Taking captain and crew, and loved ones to their fate Chorus Now when the winds off the Hebrides blow so free That's when she calls to me She speaks softly on the ocean breeze She says everything's alright Anguish and fear color my every waking thought Can she not see what her ghostly vigil has wrought And I nearly loose my mind, each time she calls to me Echos from a cold wet grave that never should be Now when the winds off the Hebrides blow so free That's when she calls to me She speaks softly on the ocean breeze She says she will never let me go Oh Genevieve, I've lost your love to the sea Will you not go, and leave me with my memories For the love that I knew is gone, I beg you to set me free Now when the winds off the Hebrides blow so free No longer does she call to me I hear only waves in the ocean breeze Ever since she said goodbye Oh Genevieve, I've lost your love to the sea Oh Genevieve, you were always Ginny to me
Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
Written by W. Connolly/Hedley Music GroupLTD

Story

Heaven for sailors!

Lyrics

As I roved by the dockside one evening so rare To view the still water and take the sea air I herad an old fisherman singing this song Oh take me away boys my tim is not long Chorus Dress me up in me oilskin and jumper, No more on the docks I’ll be found Just tel me old shipmates,I’m taking a trip mates And I’ll see tham someday in Fiddler’s Green Now Fiddler’s Green is a place I’ve heard tell Where fisherman go when they don’t go to hell Where the weather is fair and the dolphins do play And the cold coast of Greenland is far far away The sky’s always clear and there’s never a gale And the fish jump on board with a flip of their tail You can lie at your leisure there’s no work to do And the skipper’s below making tea for the crew And when you’re in dock and the long trip is thru There’s pubs and there’s clubs and there’s lassies there too Now the girls are all pretty and the beer is all free And there’s bottles of rum hanging from every tree I don’t want a harp or a halo not me Just give me a breeze and a good rolling sea And I’ll play me old squeeze box as we sail along When the wind’s in the rigging to sing me this song
Pierce Campbell
0000-00-00
traditional

Story

A beautiful English ballad that's a classic and always commented on when played.

Lyrics

The water is wide I cannot swim o're And neither have I wings to fly Build me a boat That can carry two And both shall row My love and i A ship there is And she sails the sea Shes loaded deep As deep can be But not so deep As the love Im in I know not how I sink or swim Love is genle and love is kind The sweetest flower when first it's new But love grows old and it waxes cold And fades away loke morning dew