Song for a Blockade Runner​/​High Barbaree

from by Crime and the Forces of Evil

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about

"High Barbaree" is a traditional sailor's song about an encounter with pirates along the Barbary Coast of Africa; and, of course, in that version, the pirates lose.

We don't roll that way. C'mon, how could we?

No, "Song for a Blockade Runner" is a new song, new music, with enough references to the original to credit it, telling the story from the pirates' side, in the Republic of Cascadia's 1973-1974 war for independence.

This song got stuck, developmentally, for weeks. I had the new music, I had the idea, I knew what I wanted to write about, but it was just... wodged. I wrote and discarded a couple of terrible versions.

Then, one night, I realised that High Barbaree was the name of their _ship_, not the name of a _place_. As soon as that realisation hit, the lyrics came tumbling out, like water.

lyrics

Look ahead, look astern, look a-weather and a-lee
Blow high, blow low, and so sail we
There's a lofty ship about us; we sail fast and free
Sailin' down along the coast on High Barbaree

Oh are we a pirate, or man o' war?
Blow high, blow low, and so sail we
It depends on who you're askin'; we've been both before
Sailin' down along the coast on High Barbaree
Oh if you are Alaskan, then we bring you your breads
Blow high, blow low, and so sail we
But the Californians hate us, and they're after our heads
Singin' down along the coast on High Barbaree

Runnin' gun, runnin' rum, runnin' iron and gold
Blow high, blow low, and so sail we
And sometimes runnin' things we don't wanna be told
Sailing down along the coast on High Barbaree
The Douglas Fir we're flyin'; this sea it is ours
Blow high, blow low, and so sail we
And should you try to stop us we'll put flame to your stars
Singin' down along the coast on High Barbaree

Oh priviteering's rough, not much pay to be had
Blow high, blow low, and so sail we
The voyage is never ending, and the food's pretty bad
Sailing down along the coast on high barbaree
But be a Yankee or a Dixie? Oh I'd rather be dead
Blow high, blow low, and so sail we
We're betting all we've got that something better's ahead
Singin' down along the coast on High Barbaree
Sailing down along the coast on High Barbaree

credits

from Cracksman Betty (Remixed and Remastered), track released May 7, 2012

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Crime and the Forces of Evil Seattle

We are one bunch of seriously pissed-off elves, writing the songs of the supervillains. Enjoy our rage-driven acoustic elfmetal, or our GeoIP-driven heat ray. It's up to you.

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