Once upon the ocean blue
came a story just for you
'bout the bloody buccaneers
who sailed the Main in yesteryears.
There was peg-leg Cap'n Flatt,
swashed his buckle -- tipped his hat,
hair and beard were all in curls,
he was loved by all the girls.
Then we have dear Bos'n Brown,
known as "Killer" in the town,
Brown was bald and small and lean,
and he was known for being mean.
The Cap'n's crew was boisterous,
"A pirate's life is fine with us!"
They took to fighting happily,
pillaging upon the sea.
"Yo ho ho and a bloody sword,
we're going to steal the good King's horde,
we'll sack his crews -- sink his ships,
and drink his wine with salty lips!"
You should have heard the stories told,
chasing -- fighting -- chests of gold,
feats of boldness on the sea
where men are mighty -- men are free!
All of London town was cheering
at each tale that they were hearing,
in every pub -- the welcome mat
was always out for Cap'n Flatt.
Sailing day was quite a fete,
dancing -- parties -- in the street,
sails billowed -- out to sea
with Jolly Roger flying free.
And in the town, they breathed a sigh,
they knew they'd see him by-and-by
with tales of daring and new tunes
and piles and piles of gold doubloons.
So Cap'n Flatt put out to sea
to seek his fabled destiny,
a story lived -- as we shall see
in a way -- quite differently.
Then for months and weeks and days
they plied the tossing ocean ways,
"Red sky night -- sailor's light,
red sky morning -- sailors warning!"
On a bright and lovely day
they dropped anchor in a bay
where lay a town much loved by men,
where all the sailors came to play.
Ships from England -- ships from France,
all King's sailors came to dance,
to lose their gold at games of cards
and pay to hear the songs of bards.
Brothels owned by Bos'n Brown
did brisk business in this town,
and Cap'n Flatt's own gambling clubs
raked in the gold -- as did his pubs.
You've heard of Blackbeard, so I'm told,
this is where he got his gold,
and Cap'n Hook, all the while,
played his dancing crocodile,
prancing in a pinafore
with gold in piles upon the floor.
Up above the town did fly
the Jolly Roger -- there -- on high,
to bring the sailors -- grand marquee
proclaiming "Here is pleasure's spree!"
Weeks and weeks -- transporting gold,
Cap'n Flatt filled up his hold
'til his ship was laden down
and set to sail for London town.
Going back -- they made up stories,
fabricated pirate glories,
songs to thrill both me and you
and not a word of them was true.
Spare me all those dirty looks,
just toss away your hist'ry books,
for every tale of bloody glory:
just a made-up "pirate" story.
But -- if you're good -- someday I'll tell
location where this island dwells,
still run by kin of Flatt and Brown,
a "genuine ole pirate town."
GREAT POEM!! Loved the rhyme, the cadence, and the fun of it all. Wonderful storytelling.
Published: August 2008
Once upon the ocean blue