87 - The Last Bristolian Pirate

Words by © The Longest Johns
Tune by © The Longest Johns

The Longest Johns are a Bristol-based a cappella folk band and have kindly given us permission to include the words to some of their songs here. This one is an authorised rewrite of 'The Last Saskatchewan Pirate' by Canadian comedy-music group The Arrogant Worms. It appears as a bonus track on the physical release of their 2013 CD Bones in the Ocean.

I used to be a farmer, and I made a living fine,
I had a little stretch of land along the western line
But times were hard and though I tried, the money wasn’t there
And the bankers came and took my land and told me “fair is fair”\

I looked for every kind of job, the answer always no
“Hire you now?” they’d always laugh, “we just let twenty go!”
The government, the promised me a measly little sum
But I’ve got too much pride to end up just another bum.

Then I thought, who gives a damn if all the jobs are gone?
I’m gonna be a PIRATE on the river Severn!

And it’s a heave! ho! hi! ho! Comin’ down the plains
Stealin’ wheat and barley and all the other grains
It’s a ho! hey! hi! hey! Farmers bar yer doors
When you see the Jolly Roger on the Severn’s mighty shores

Well, you’d think the local farmers would know that I’m at large
But just the other day I found an unprotected barge
I snuck up right behind them and they were none the wiser,
I rammed their ship and sank it and I stole their fertilizer!

A bridge outside of Chepstow spans the mighty river
Farmers cross in so much fear their stomachs are a’quiver
Cause they know that Tractor Jack is hidin’ in the bay
I’ll jump the bridge and knock them cold and sail off with their hay!

And it’s a heave! ho! hi! ho! Comin’ down the plains
Stealin’ wheat and barley and all the other grains
It’s a ho! hey! hi! hey! Farmers bar yer doors
When you see the Jolly Roger on the Severn’s mighty shores

Well, PC Bob he chased me, he was always at my throat
He followed on the shoreline cause he didn’t own a boat
But cutbacks were a’coming and the Mountie lost his job
So now he’s sailing with us, and we call him Salty Bob!\

A swingin’ sword, a skull and bones and pleasant company
I never pay my income tax and screw the VAT (SCREW IT!!)
Sailin down to Thornbury, the terror of the seas
If you wanna get to Tesco boys, you gotta get by me!

And it’s a heave! ho! hi! ho! Comin’ down the plains
Stealin’ wheat and barley and all the other grains
It’s a ho! hey! hi! hey! Farmers bar yer doors
When you see the Jolly Roger on the Severn’s mighty shores

Well, Pirate life’s appealing but you just don’t find it here,
I hear that up in Yorkshire there’s a band of buccaneers
They roam around the Yorkshire Dales from Yarm to Brierly
And you’re gonna lose your flat cap if you have to pass their way!

Well, winter is a’comin’ and a chill is in the breeze
My pirate days are over once the river starts to freeze
I’ll be back in springtime but now I have to fly
I hear there’s lots of plunderin’ down in the Isle of Wight!

And it’s a heave! ho! hi! ho! Comin’ down the plains
Stealin’ wheat and barley and all the other grains
It’s a ho! hey! hi! hey! Farmers bar yer doors
When you see the Jolly Roger on the Severn’s mighty shores