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The Fool Who Sails


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Description
Figuring out a genre was a challenge. It's sort of a latin, bossa nova sea shanty set in ancient Roman times. I know, I know, you're constantly running into latin, bossa nova sea shanties set in ancient Roman times nowadays. But just indulge me.

I'd written the story a couple of years ago and decided to set it to music. I ended up keeping my first take, where I was making up the melody as I went along. I rather liked the spontaneous sound of it. I added a few more voices to the chorus, to give it that "sitting around singing a latin, bossa nova sea shanty set in ancient Roman times" feel, and voila! A song. I hope you enjoy it!
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Lyrics
A lad looked out to sea one day
And said, "That life's for me!
I'll fish the shores, the shoals, the bay
As Poseidon's protégé.
I'll not be home again, my friends
I'll not be settling down
I'll see the world, and where it ends
I'll live with great renown."

The foolish lad said, "Good-bye, Rome!"
Then walked the Appian Way
He told all ears the sea was home
And he'd been on holiday
At last he saw Brindisium,
The port to Greece and more
From what he'd read at athenaeum
'Twas a place of sailing lore

Sing lo, sing lo, to the sailor proud
Sing hi, sing hi, to the deadly gales
Sing lo, sing lo, to the empty shroud
Sing out for the fool who sails!

He found a ship both tall and proud
And boldly spoke his piece
"Captain, sir, may I be allowed
To sail with you to Greece?"
The Captain shook his golden locks
And pointed down the pier
"It would be quite unorthodox
For a lub to serve on here."

From boat to boat did he clamber
Disappointment at each try
'Til a ship without much glamour
Finally caught his eye
To a mangy man with one peg leg
The lad made his demand
"Dear sir, I fear that I must beg
Please get me off the land."

[Chorus]

So aboard the rotting trawler
Called "Princess of the Sea"
The lad was a net hauler
And happy as can be
But four days out, disaster struck
A squall came up too fast
The valiant crew was out of luck
The Princess lost her mast

She floundered on an angry wave
Then capsized in a blink
The sea became the Princess's grave
The crew was in the drink
Yet still the lad would not give in
He shouted for his god
"Poseidon, please, it's me, your kin
The lad who'd left the sod."

[Chorus]

When one by one the sailors drowned
The lad was now alone
Wishing he'd not left the ground
And life that he had known
'Twas no one there to see him slip
Beneath the stormy sea
Had he been on a different ship
A sailor he would be

So take this lesson to your heart
All lads who want to sail
Stay at home, don't e'er depart
For here's the telling tale:
'Twas in Poseidon's belly
They found his mangled corpse.
His blood had turned to jelly
His bones, a shark's first course

[Chorus]
Song Stats
Hits: 5164
Comments: 36
Fans: 3
Plays: 956
Downloads: 171
Votes: 18
Uploaded: Jul 12, 2005 - 08:43:46 AM
Last Updated: Nov 16, 2005 - 12:23:48 AM Last Played: Jan 30, 2017 - 11:51:41 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Shure SM58
Software:
GarageBand
Comments
MiMi said 4335 days ago (July 12th, 2005)
What Fun!
What a fun listen! Thanks for sharing!
Check out my latest song called You
Joanna said 4335 days ago (July 12th, 2005)
What Fun!
Thank you, MiMi! I had a blast singing this one. Must be that bossa nova beat.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
thetiler said 4335 days ago (July 12th, 2005)
wow
Like that ending sound to , you do your homework!

You are really a wordsmith! Maybe the best i"ve heard on
this site. I don't like saying this because I don't wan't you
to be constantly looking over your back:)
It is very obvious to me that you are very unique in this
regard. You have a ton to offer the world. And if
thousands and millions don't hear your special craft it's
their lose.

Please, keep on writing. You have really help distill in me
the importance of writing. So not only are you a great
writer but great at inspiring. And you deliver the message
very well.

Your voice kind of reminds me of Julie London the singer.
Keep going off into to these places of adventure, because
they are quite pleasing to hear.

Just fantastic, really you are great writer!
I am looking forward to receiving your book that I bought
at amazon.com.



Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
Joanna said 4335 days ago (July 12th, 2005)
wow
Thank you so much, Tiler, what a lovely thing to say. It means a great deal to
me. Ironically, I'm finding myself at a loss for words. Thank you again.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
caroline said 4335 days ago (July 12th, 2005)
seashanty bossa nova!
it's getting very nautical around here me hearties! another coup - i may have to go out and find a large group of children to teach this to. thank you x
Check out my latest song called i'm a reunion maid MJRF 2010
Joanna said 4335 days ago (July 12th, 2005)
seashanty bossa nova!
Oh, the bairns will love it -- especially the ending with the mangled corpse.
Nice and gruesome! Arrr, ye were what got me thinking shanties, lassie, that
ye were.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
TobinMueller said 4335 days ago (July 12th, 2005)
A delight
Perfect genre choice. Who are your band mates? Those can't
all be your voices? (I know you can sing low...) The acoustic
rhythm is so tight, it could be a loop (?), yet it doesn't vary,
but everything sounds so natural, so real; I love the way it is
played like a tenor ukulele. The layered hums and chorus
voices are so perfect, and the water sounds fx are just right.
And your vocals tell the story with compelling personality. A
delight.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Joanna said 4335 days ago (July 12th, 2005)
A delight
Thank you, Tobin! Yes, those are all me, and no effects applied. I wanted a
male voice in the chorus, but it was the middle of the night, so I decided to
just do it myself. The guitar and percussion are both loops. I wanted another
instrument, couldn't find what I wanted, so I decided to hum the part. You
have good ears, because the humming is pretty soft in the mix! I'm so glad
you enjoyed it!
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
said 4335 days ago (July 12th, 2005)
I wish...
...that I could write that many lyrics! You must be a writer
(LOL). You performance is so theatrical. Are you positive
you aren't a performer in Broadway plays?

You sing so effortlessly. The versatility you contain is
simply flabberghasting (did I spell that correctly?).

When is the album coming out? Or, should I have said,
"CD"?
Joanna said 4335 days ago (July 12th, 2005)
I wish...
Thank you, Alimar! You pegged my theatrical streak just right. To me, singing
is acting, especially with a story-song like this one. I was having way too
much fun. CD available upon request. lol
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
_nderscore said 4335 days ago (July 13th, 2005)
call me a landlubber..
i'm stayin on the shore after this one. great story, joanna.
lots of fun. i wanted more FX! heheh
Check out my latest song called glyd
Joanna said 4334 days ago (July 13th, 2005)
call me a landlubber..
Thank you, _nder! I thought about adding more sound fx, but decided that to
keep the impact of the ending, it should probably stand alone. Makes it a
little more unexpected that way.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
alley-oop said 4334 days ago (July 13th, 2005)
Spin that yard
Wow, wonderful song, Joanna. Rich and flowing. The soulful vocals are just great. Very cool rhythm. Thanks so much!
Check out my latest song called rain
Joanna said 4334 days ago (July 13th, 2005)
Spin that yard
Thank you, Alley! I have no idea why I even clicked on the latin percussion,
because I wouldn't have thought it appropriate, yet when I put it with the
guitar it sounded interesting enough that I had to give it a try. Sometimes,
the things one tries almost accidently work out surprisingly well.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
bronco said 4334 days ago (July 13th, 2005)
Learn to Swim
Joanna,

Fun song!! You love these tales of death and destruction
don't you? Just kidding, anyone can hear the playfulness
in your voice and how much fun you had with this. This
would make a great soundtrack for one of those Discovery
Channel documentaries about unearthing a sea wreck.
Love all the references to ancient sites and gods. Makes it
easier to get into the spirit of the sea.
Check out my latest song called Along The Way
Joanna said 4334 days ago (July 13th, 2005)
Learn to Swim
Thank you, Bronco! Originally, this was a song for a novel I was writing, that
was set in those times. They seamen who sang it were Greeks, and that's why
they had him praying to Poseidon instead of Neptune. The rest of the period
references were as accurate as I could get them. You know, it's bugged me
since I posted this that the "incorrect" god name wasn't explained. I feel so
much better now.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
jiguma said 4334 days ago (July 13th, 2005)
Never thought .....
I'd hear the words "latin, bossa nova sea shanty set in
ancient Roman times" in a sentence!

Nice one Joanna!
Check out my latest song called Dead Man Walking
Joanna said 4334 days ago (July 14th, 2005)
Never thought .....
Thank you, jiguma! I have to admit -- I didn't think I'd ever type it.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
jackstone said 4333 days ago (July 14th, 2005)
What a great voice and melody!
Excellent is all I can say to this song
In japanese,subararashii!!
You're marvelous lady.

Check out my latest song called watchawant session
Joanna said 4333 days ago (July 14th, 2005)
What a great voice and melody!
ありがとう

According to Sherlock, the above says "Thank you". I hope it's right, because I
really appreciate your support, Jackstone! Domo!
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
jackstone said 4331 days ago (July 16th, 2005)
Yes !!
it's just a correct word in japan,どうも!
Check out my latest song called watchawant session
FEEL said 4332 days ago (July 15th, 2005)
Great!
Very nice...needs to be in a musical.
Check out my latest song called Pleasant Valley Sunday
Joanna said 4326 days ago (July 22nd, 2005)
Great!
Thank you, Texas! The song might be long enough to be the entire musical! I
just couldn't figure out how to cut it because of the story-telling.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
Mystified said 4332 days ago (July 15th, 2005)
Excellent!
I love your storytelling, and your dramatic sense in
presenting this.
Your talent and joy of singing is a wonderful thing. Thank
you for sharing it here! :)
Excellent!

Check out my latest song called Child of Yesterday
Joanna said 4326 days ago (July 22nd, 2005)
Excellent!
Thank you, Mysti! It's too bad there wasn't a camera on me when I sang this
one because I was acting out the whole story. Had me one heckuva good
time.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
wittybrit said 4325 days ago (July 23rd, 2005)
Wow
Caroline (my sis) just introduced me! Fabulous. voice, lyrics. When do I buy the DC?
Joanna said 4324 days ago (July 23rd, 2005)
Wow
Thank you, witty! You may need to have an intervention with Caroline -- she's
totally addicted to this site. DCs and CDs available upon request (as soon as I
figure out how to make a DC).
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
wittybrit said 4323 days ago (July 24th, 2005)
Wow
OK - I'll just have to buy the CD instead. Do you offer a free typing course with each CD???
Rebsie said 4292 days ago (August 24th, 2005)
Excellent!
It's amazing that this is the first take and you were still
making up the melody, because the vocal sounds
incredibly confident. The harmonies are superb and you're
getting such powerful expression in your voice. This is
one of the best things I've heard you do ... great rhythm,
great melody ... very accomplished.
Check out my latest song called Amongst The Colours (w/ Luna Trick)
Joanna said 4292 days ago (August 24th, 2005)
Excellent!
Thank you, Rebsie! You know, I had so darn much fun singing this one, and I
was so into the storytelling -- that's why the vocals sound "confident". I didn't
care about how I sounded, I was just telling the story. And because it was a
first take, I had no worries about making mistakes, because I assumed it
would take several takes to get it right. Luckily, the original poem had a
pretty solid meter, so once I found my melody at the beginning, I didn't have
to worry about much fudging to make lines fit. You can hear subtle
differences, for instance, the chorus changes a little bit, but the combo of a
repeating loop (just one loop stretched for both the guitar and percussion),
thereby making the musical changes completely predictable, and the poem's
meter made singing it "right" the first time very easy. It just fell into place.

And dang, was it ever fun!
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
Rebsie said 4291 days ago (August 25th, 2005)
Excellent!
Wow, I really admire your ability to do that! I get so hung up on getting
things perfect I never do beautiful spontaneous takes like this. It
obviously works for you though! Brilliant.
Check out my latest song called Amongst The Colours (w/ Luna Trick)
Joanna said 4290 days ago (August 27th, 2005)
Excellent!
There's the difference between us, Rebsie -- I'm incapable of perfect! I've
never been a perfectionist because that puts too much of a damper on the
fun. Every once in awhile, things work out for me anyway, and that's the most
fun of all.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
screamalexz said 4167 days ago (December 28th, 2005)
great style
nice vocal style. great lyric writing. i love your pirate voice, it sounded exactly like a one eyed pirate.
Check out my latest song called Broken Spirit
Ed Hannifin said 4158 days ago (January 5th, 2006)
Ha ha ha...
...ha ha ha ha....

I like the way you've played with often stifling conventions of latin
bossa nova neo-post-Roman sea shanty... You are taking this artform
solidly into the fourth century...

There is, of course, the Grecian influence to be contended with... We
note your reference to Poseidon rather than Neptune, and, well, we feel
we must point out that that is NOT a Roman galley...

Hoo boy.

We are glad, however, that you have chosen to post this in Folk
(traditional), the category where it belongs...

Hoo. Ha. Oh boy.

Ed
Joanna said 3286 days ago (May 26th, 2008)
Thank you!
I originally wrote the lyrics for a novel I was writing. In it, a Greek sea captain sang the song during a storm. Because he was Greek, he wouldn't dare sing the name of a Roman god, so he changed the lyric. He did, however, delight in singing about Romans meeting an untimely end. I know it sounds like I made all this up on the fly but this is exactly how it happened.

As for the picture, I got it off an archaeological site that named it as a Roman merchant ship or something to that effect. I know they definitely said it was Roman and of the correct time period for the novel. I always do my research like a good lil author should.
Check out my latest song called Side By Side with Dadai.2
MunichG said 3899 days ago (September 22nd, 2006)
Very creative!
I love the overall sound, the drums, guitar and the bell fit together really
well. Great tune.
Check out my latest song called Buffalo Skinners
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Hi, I'm Joanna (not Jo, that's someone else). Garageband has allowed me to indulge my love for singing beyond concerts in the shower. My favorite part of songwriting is writing the lyrics. This makes sense, of course, because writing is what I d... [see more]

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