Pirates vs. Dragons

by Marc Gunn

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1.
* Leave behind the law and lawyers, When you leave behind the land— For the law that rules a pirate Is you take whate’er you can. So you want to be a pirate? Well, repeat after me— I’ll pillage, whore, and plunder And live the life that’s free. Little boys who listened When their Mamas said they should They ain’t the kind o’ pirates That will do me any good. I want a crew that’s ruthless Cutthroats, thieves and ghouls. ‘Cause we don’t hold tea-parties, And we don’t live by the rules. We sail upon the heavens, In an airship tried and true It’s a whole new world of treasure That we’ll find before we’re through. So, if you want to be a pirate Come on down to the ship. We need a dozen sailors To replace those lost last trip!
2.
* Sail away with Black Jack Murphy, We’re soaring through the skies, Air Pirates Extraordinaire, And our eyes are on the prize! There’s a dragon hiding somewhere Mid the mountains to the North. We are off to steal its treasure, And we’re ‘bout to sally forth. There are rumors she’s got mounds of gold, We’re talkin’ hella tons. She sleeps upon a bed of jewels So we’re loading up the guns. We know that she’s got lots of teeth, But we’ve got stout sharp swords. They say her wings to Saturn reach, But doubtless that’s just words. We’ll fight her there inside her lair, Which only we can reach— It takes an air ship to get there Take that, ol’ Blackbeard Teach! We’ve cleared the hold for treasure so the galley’s rather bare, but when we beat the dragon, we’ll have no space to spare. Dragons may be deadly, But our pirates are much worse And we’re used to lots of bloodshed So we’re takin’ home that purse. Yes, sail away with ol’ Black Jack— And face the dragon bold. And if you live, be certain that You’ll earn your share of gold!
3.
*There’s a storm comin’ So get down below Batton the hatches And hear the wind blow I took to sea as a lad of fourteen My first storm at sea turned me face a pea green The cap’t he told me to make meself fast, So I spent the night rollin’ a tied to the mast. I learned over time to weather the squalls, For a pirate who can’t will get kicked in the balls His mates make his life a hell on this earth If he spends every storm below in his berth. But the first time I felt the wild hurricane’s might The mast kissed the sea as we lay to the right I thought I was dead as the winds they did roar And I swore I would never to sea any more. Then one day I heard of a ship that could fly So I thought I would give sailing just one more try There would be no waves rolling in watery dance– If only I’d known there would be turb-u-lance. I thought that the waves were a terrible fright But think of that rolling way up in the heights Thunder a roaring with each lightning flash and the rain lash like needles wheree’er we would dash Then someone glanced up, to the air overhead, and I never will ever forget what he said– “Look through the clouds there–can you see blue sky?” So we hauled on the lines and we lifted her high. Now under our keel, the clouds tumbled by With lightning a dancing like little fire flies But we sailed on above it, through sky crystal blue Or I wouldn’t be telling me story to you. So, if you go sailing, make it through the air— There’s nothing but blue skies to deal with up there. Mayhap an occasional bird will glide by, But you don’t have no weather when you’re flying so high.
4.
This is Cap’t Black Jack Murphy, with another PSA — Pirate Service Announcement. Me and the crew of the IRISH STOUT have a new ship these days, and we are sailing through the skies. In the interest of public service, I wanted to issue you a little warning. If you walk outside your door, and you feel warm rain on your face, be sure that there are clouds in the sky. If not, wash your face quick, because–as you may remember–I encourage me lads just to piss over the side of the ship…and that there rain–it just might not be. This has been another PSA — Pirate Service Announcement — from your good friend Black Jack Murphy.
5.
* The wind in the rigging, it sets my heart free And the life of a pirate is alright by me. A pirate has duties, to crew and to ship, Hey-ho, to sea I shall go With a sword at his waist and a song on his lip Hey-ho, to be a pirate! There’s danger a-plenty, but treasure for all Hey-ho, to sea I shall go And the lure of adventure—a true siren call Hey-ho, to be a pirate! I’ll wear coats made of silk, with buttons of gold Hey-ho, to sea I shall go And from London to Kent my tale will be told Hey-ho, to be a pirate! My ship she will fly the skull and crossed-bones Hey-ho, to sea I shall go And the sight of that flag will cause faint hearts to moan Hey-ho, to be a pirate! We’ll board all the ships of those fat merchant men Hey-ho, to sea I shall go And when we are done—why, we’ll board them again! Hey-ho, to be a pirate! We’ll dine on the best and get tipsy on rum Hey-ho, to sea I shall go Then find us some lasses we’ll screw till they cum Hey-ho, to be a pirate!
6.
* This is the story of Jenny Malloy She was handsome rather than cute— She went off to sea a-dressed as a boy, Till caught in the wrong birthday suit. Jenny decided when she was thirteen That the life of a girl was a bore So she stole her some trews and a cap and a gun And left her dull home on the shore. She applied for a berth with Black Jack Murphy Because she had heard he was fair. And he took her on board on the strength of her word Never thinking to check her down there. Jenny was clever, she was never caught out. And the crew came to know her as “Tim”. They praised the brave lad for the skills that he had Though they wondered why he didn’t swim. For years things went fine, but you can’t alter time… And—as breasts do—hers started to grow. She’d bind them up tight, but try as she might, She could not get her voice to stay low. One night out at sea, with the crew in their cups, A bet was proposed by O’Hare— “Let’s whip our poles out,” the man he did shout, “And see who’s got inches to spare!” To the wine-sodden crew, with naught better to do, This seemed like a grand ol’ idear— But Jenny turned white as the sails on the mast And she prayed to whoever might hear: “Oh, Lord, if you’re there, could You lend me a pair— And give me a handle to crank? I promise to tithe my whole purse for a year, And I’ll know who exactly to thank!” But God and the Devil were busy that day, Or decided she should pay her due— ‘Cause the trousers went down in a circle all ‘round, Till Jenny must lower hers too. Her eyes filled with tears as she thought of the years These men had all been her best mates. Then she closed tight her eyes and opened her fly And delivered herself up to Fate. When her trousers went down, there was nary a sound Till the crew as one let out a cheer. For a cabin boy’s fine when you’re sailing the brine But a woman is worth more than beer! So Jenny went on to fortune and fame, As a pirate both cunning and bold And her crewmates draw lots for the order of spots In the queue to her berth in the hold!
7.
A man I met in London town Proposed a thing to me— He offered me a brand new ship, But not to sail the sea. He wanted me to soar the skies In his ship the Lady Jean An air ship—can you ‘magine that?— With a shining bronzy sheen. – She’d an engine run by hissing steam, And her sails were sheets of tin That turned to catch the rising winds With cogs, and gears, and gin. Her crew it was a motley lot, A mix of tars and science, But pirates all beneath our coats, And bent on self-reliance. – We’d sidle up all silent-like— Well, with a hissing lot of steam— And drop upon our targets From ropes ties to the beam. They never saw us coming, And we razed a lot of gold. Sometimes so damn successful That we over-filled the hold. – We’d drop down on the lassies, And we’d scoop them up for fun. We’d ply them with the best of gin, And poke ‘em with our guns. Ah, the Lady Jean was a bonny ship, Though I missed the Irish Stout. I’m sure I’d be sailing on her still… If the gin had not run out. * Oh, come and sail the open skies Upon the Lady Jean She’s the trimmest ship you’ll ever see A pirate’s soaring dream. A man I met in London town Proposed a thing to me— He offered me a brand new ship, But not to sail the sea. He wanted me to soar the skies In his ship the Lady Jean An air ship—can you ‘magine that?— With a shining bronzy sheen. * Oh, come and sail the open skies Upon the Lady Jean She’s the trimmest ship you’ll ever see A pirate’s soaring dream. Oh, come and sail the open skies Upon the Lady Jean She’s the trimmest ship you’ll ever see A pirate’s soaring dream.
8.
A dragon alit in our crow’s nest today We’ve asked to leave, but he won’t go away So we fired upon him and he fired back Kentucky Fried Parrot is now our new snack So we tried to ignore him, but there’s a small catch He’s invited us to enter his own private hatch Now he’s listing our ship, so we’re forced to agree It’s either his gullet or the cold briny sea * Do pirates taste better than those who are not? We know they’re more salty, does that keep them from rot? Do they slide down more quickly or in teeth do get caught? Do pirates taste better than those who are not? Now, we’d like him to go, and many have shoo’d And the results were they got their butts chewed Ol’ Peg-Leg Bill was the last to get nicked And an old wooden leg makes a handy toothpick Now he wants the appetizers all fresh and all warm And he wants them arranged and in pleasant form He insists on a main course after the entrée Is this wyrm taking lessons from Gordon Ramsay? Now, we’d all like this to end as quickly as can For there’s one terror left for all of the men And if we don’t swiftly settle this squall For dessert he’ll have tasty pirate rum balls
9.
* 1, 2, and 1 makes three 4, 5, and 5 again. We’re heading off to sea once more Our pirate crew of ten. Barney the mate weighs a good dozen stone, And his cutlass is polished and sharp. He went to school for four years And he’s good with the shears If yer pig-tail is needin’ a crop. Davy the cabin boy’s not quite thirteen, But he’s a pirate despite through and through. He’s the best thief I know, And the wine it does flow If Davy’s been down at the dock. Ol’ Doc Malloy’s been at sea since a boy And he wears a fine doublet of red. There’s no one at sea Finer surgeon than he If your limbs have occasion to rot. And Billy O’Doul is a bit of a rake Who flirts with the women in town. He’s a dandy in dress, But I have to confess, He’s a good man when fightin’s around. Patty the cook is a Belfast man born And he’ll never let any forget. But he makes a fine stew With an onion or two Any time there is more than just fish. We are God-fearin’ men led by ol’ Father Brown Who looks t’other way when it’s best. He prays for our souls From the depths to the shoals, And his sermon’s too good to be missed. There are twins Pete and Dan Who no one can tell one from t’other. They don’t seem to mind— When they get in a bind— ‘Tis likely the culprit’s his brother. The bosun Tom Jenkins is clever no doubt With a tongue like a fine silver flute. He’s a sweet-talkin’ man And he does what he can To keep us all out of the stocks. And then there is me, Cap’t Black Jack Murphy, A sea-dog who knows how to howl. With my crew at my back There is never a lack Of adventure and freedom and gold.
10.
* I stumbled on a dragon hoard And lord, it was a mountain! If I hadn’t heard her comin’ back I’d still be there a’countin’. I found a solid golden cup And two jeweled finger rings Three sharp battle axes And four big silver springs. (Spoken: Dunno what those were for…) There were five glowing rubies And six fine emerald clips Seven strong iron helmets And eight nice leather whips. (Spoken: Not cat’o’nines, but they’ll do…) Nine large diamonds gleamed Upon ten spun bales of lace Eleven chains twined in a braid— A dozen chests held them in place. (Spoken: Full of plunder, I betcha…but they was locked.) I was there all alone, but I grabbed what I could Till my pockets they bulged at the seams, And I vowed that return there I would To gather the wealth of my dreams. I staggered on back to my hearth and home And I emptied out all of my treasure. Determined that I would count again— Now I that had me the leisure. In the bright light of day, my joy melted away— As I saw what it was I had got… All that glitters ain’t gold as I’m sure you’ve been told— And what I had pilfered was not. There was one pewter mug And two old brass rings Three stone blades that were chipped And four bits of old waxen string. (Spoken: I do need new boot laces…) There are five red glass bits And six moss green too Seven battered skullcaps of bronze And eight straps of leather and glue. (Spoken: Well, that’s somethin’ then…) Nine blobs of clear crystal sap And ten clumps of cobwebs so fine Eleven cheap trinkets entwined… And the chests, I had left them behind. (Spoken: Prob’ly empty anyway.) I cursed quite a bit regarding my luck But then I just started to chuckle… The greed of a pirate in a dark cavern’s hold Is sure to make treasure of truckle!
11.
A dragon is not a big lizard with wings Despite what some people may say. Look at the size of my cranium, dude! I’ve a brain half as big as L.A. If you set me a puzzle or a problem to solve It will take only instants to do. And I’ve written a treatise on Immanuel Kant Between giving kids tours at the zoo. I could beat your best man in a battle of wits With half of my brain drunk on ale. I’ve more smarts in one fang than you have in your head, And that doesn’t add in the tail. I’ve a doctorate in business, another in law And I taught for a while at the U. But school was a bore so I opened a store And it’s made me a millionaire too. So, yeah, I’ve got gold, and a few gems around, But I keep the bulk stashed in CDs. I’ve more wealth it is true than Trump or Gore do But I don’t plan to share with you fleas. My cave has the latest in surveillance, you see, I’ve cameras, and lasers galore, And whenever I fear someone’s on their way here, I put in a few dozen more. The next time you think that a dragon’s fair game When you’re looking for something to steal. Remember that I am real good with traps And it’s probably less than ideal.
12.
Dragons are more than lizards that fly… Or horrible monsters with teeth. They soar through the heavens, touching the sky While we stand looking up from beneath. Dragons are creatures who just want to live. And they have a great service to do. They have so much to offer they’re willing to give— Perhaps even a gold coin or too! Dragons are quiet, intelligent guys… They won’t bother you if you stay cool. You’ll leave them alone if you are wise Though humans aren’t wise as a rule… Dragons are top of the mythical chain. They are magnificent creatures With scales that rattle like whispering rain— Among their more obvious features. Dragons are not some venomous pests For pirates to chase from the skies. Leave their gold sitting piled in their chests And let their wings help them rise! * Free the dragons—leave them alone Stop trying to rob and destroy… Dragons are people, if not flesh and bone They deserve their freedom and joy!
13.
Didja ever see a dragon fly? Weigh-hey, haul-a-long-ho O’er the moon and across the sky? Weigh-ho, me hearties. I tell you true, ’tis a fearsome sight Weigh-hey, haul-a-long-ho Can keep the fiercest up at night Weigh-ho, me hearties. The cabin boy — by name of Ned Weigh-hey, haul-a-long-ho Spent the rest o’ the night under his bed Weigh-ho, me hearties. And the cook, he stole the Cap’t’s rum, Weigh-hey, haul-a-long-ho Drank it all to make him numb, Weigh-ho, me hearties. The mate, whose sword was always out, Weigh-hey, haul-a-long-ho Drowned hisself in a cask o’ stout Weigh-ho, me hearties. The bosun blew his whistle loud– Weigh-hey, haul-a-long-ho And used the mainsail as a shroud! Weigh-ho, me hearties. The doc, he took a scalpel sharp, Weigh-hey, haul-a-long-ho And carved hisself an auto-harp! Weigh-ho, me hearties. And our brave cap’t–ol’ Black Jack, Weigh-hey, haul-a-long-ho He jumped o’er the side and he ain’t come back! Weigh-ho, me hearties. (Spoken: Hey, wait a minute…)
14.
How do we steal from a mighty dragon, How do we steal from a mighty dragon, How do we steal from a mighty dragon, We have to get its treasure! Quiet there boys, let’s sneak up slowly (x3) We have to get its treasure! 1. There’s gold and silver, jewels a-plenty. 2. We could try sticks and beat it soundly. 3. That might make her mighty angry. 4. Better to sneak than fight directly. 5. Otherwise she might fry us crispy. 6. If we leave off our boots we can be real quiet. 7. We’ll fill our pockets with her plunder. 8. We’ll all be rich before we’re thirty. 9. Let’s drink a pint to build our courage. 10. Gather your sacks and let’s get moving.
15.
I’ll tell you a story of pirates so bold Who sailed through the air to put gold in our hold We sacked lots of merchants and navy men too But when we took on a dragon, our payment was due. *Singing fly high di-dye-do Singing fly low di-day We first found her lair in the mountains so tall In a cave up so high hard to see it at all We anchored a-lea and we slid down the ropes, Giggling like schoolboys and strolling like dopes. We had never been bested as yet as a crew, We were bold, young, and strong, and we knew what to do Till Davy and Jonas were snatched in those jaws and young Timmy Carter was split by her claws. ‘Twas only a moment before we got wise One dragon is worth more than 20 our size We fell back a-pantin’ to the ship and her guns and wished that the cannon balls weighed 50 tons. Well, the first shot went wide, and she roared in her ire– and a blast from her maw set the poop deck on fire The cap’t he cursed at the cost to his ship As her tail split the mast when around it did whip “Let’s haul ass me hearties,” the captain he cried “Or she’ll splatter our guts on that cold mountainside!” He drew out his cutlass and parted the rope and we crawled away slowly, not daring to hope. We were sure we were goners, or charcoal at best– but the dragon turned round and went back to her nest. A single conclusion made every man frown– We weren’t worth the trouble o’ hunting us down. Now we limped our way down to the nearest sea port And the shipwrights all at our poor ship they did snort Their laughter it rang from the shore to the skies– “You ain’t the first idjits a seekin’ that prize.” So when you hunt dragons, remember their might And don’t go a thinkin’ it’s an average fight Best sneak up behind them with cunning and stealth– or instead of a’stealin’ you’ll add to their wealth.
16.
The world is full of wondrous things, Pirates in airships and dragons a-wing. Don’t you forget, as you travel tonight – – The world needs some fancy to keep spinning right. When I took up my harp, as a lad of thirteen, I wanted to tell of the marvels I’d seen – – The clouds from above, like a pearly white sea… The earth down below, like a map we could read. It took me some time to get over my shock, Of seeing the ship coming into the dock… No water in sight, like you might expect. Just a rope that we tied to a spar on the deck. The first time I looked through the glass to the lea, And saw there a dragon flying careless and free, I felt my heart soaring on wings made of joy And I felt happier then than I had since a boy. I admit to you now that I became quite a cad… I undermined every hunt that we had. I made sure that every harpoon would miss, And we ne’er took a prize from that day to this. The world is full of wondrous things, Pirates in airships and dragons a-wing. Don’t you forget, as you travel tonight – – The world needs some fancy to keep spinning right.
17.
I finally finished the dragon hunting lyrics and delivered them to Murphy. So he brought me home as promised. It’s been a long and incredible journey. I’m glad I kept a journal of my adventures. I will soon share it with the world. At the moment, all I want to do is hold my girls close. I’m home…a little wiser than I was…with a knowledge of places and people I never dreamed existed. I have a feeling my adventures with Murphy and his crew aren’t completely over. After all, pirates have a nasty habit of turning up when you least expect them. But something else came out of this whole affair. I learned something absolutely amazing! Dragons are real and they need to be protected. So I have decided to form a “Save the Dragons” foundation. You can find out more at “SaveDragons.com.” Sign up today! Because dragons deserve a fighting chance. Slainte! Visit SaveDragons.com to read the entire story of how Marc Gunn was shanghaied by pirates.

about

I’ve managed to sneak a bit of pencil stub from the ship’s doctor, and a few scraps of paper from the cook. I’m recording my thoughts with them so I can reveal Black Jack Murphy’s infamy when I finally return to civilization.

There’s a universal truth about pirates. They hunt treasure, and they don’t care who they have to rob to get it.

There’s a universal truth about dragons. They hoard treasure, and they really don’t like for people to try and take it.

I was kidnapped by the infamous air pirate Black Jack Murphy and his crew of the airship The Lady Jean. They wanted me to chronicle their dragon hunts. Little did Murphy know where my sympathies lie!

So, this journal — and the resulting CD, coming soon from Mage Records “Dragons vs. Pirates” — tell the true stories of pirates vs. dragons. The CD combines rousing sea shanties about pirates being pirates with songs about the majesty of dragons, and the journal details the privations I suffered. There’s a little something for both sides here–and I bet you find a new favorite or two.

credits

released July 27, 2016

Lyrics Rie Sheridan Rose, music Marc Gunn, except "Do Pirates Taste Better" by Shannon Creamer

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Marc Gunn Atlanta, Georgia

Marc Gunn is a rhythm and folk musician inspired by Celtic culture, science fiction, fantasy, and cats--Sci F'Irish music.

He breathes new life into the autoharp, which continues to surprise musical veterans and fans alike for its unique sound and spirited energy. It’s like a satirical jam session between The Clancy Brothers and Weird Al Yankovic.
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