Space Shanties

Today’s post comes from Captain Billy, skipper of the pirate ship Muskellunge.


Me an’ me boys is crazy-excited t’ hear that NASA has discovered a underground ocean on th’ largest moon of Jupiter!

Not that we’s lookin’ fer other seas t’ sail, on account of this one here is fine, an’ plenty large enough. Plus, a Jovian Lunar ocean with a roof over it made of 95 miles of ice raises serious questions about navigation an’ winds an’ how tall can yer mast be t’ keep from scrapin’ th’ underside.

There’s no disagreement among me boys on this point – a ocean up in the stars don’t have th’ same allure as th’ one under the stars that we all enjoys so much.

But th’ possibilities is what has us thrilled.

If there’s oceans out there orbitin’ that vast gas giant, then what’s there t’ prevent there from bein’ Jupiter pirates? An’ if there’s Jupiter pirates, don’t it follow that there’d be Jupiter grog an’ Jupiter booty?

All of it incredibly massive, of course!

So naturally our imaginations ran away wit’ us, an we began t’ wonder what sort of sea shanty we might sing up there if we went, even though there’s no way we’d go (so don’t ask)!

Th’ song we made up is t’ th’ tune of one of our home world favorites – Stormalong.

O we’re sailin’ under an icy dome.
Way,hay, Ganymede.
We’re a long long way from our Earthly home.
Aye aye we’re on Ganymede.

An’ there ain’t no wind for to fill our sails
Way, hay, Ganymede.
It ain’t clear what sailin’ here entails.
Aye aye we’re on Ganymede.

But the ocean’s salty an’ dark and deep.
Way, hay, Ganymede.
If there’s monsters in it, let them sleep!
Aye aye we’re on Ganymede.

If there’s fishes swimmin’ beneath our feet
Way, hay, Ganymede
Please be slow an’ fat an’ O.K. to eat.
Aye Aye we’re on Ganymede.

Though it’s scary here an’ th’ water’s cold,
Way, hay, Ganymede
May the seas be calm an’ the booty gold!
Aye Aye we’re on Ganymede.

When you’re far away, what song reminds you of home?

37 thoughts on “Space Shanties”

  1. the songs of life do follow us. i heard loggins and messina over the weekend and commented to my son about the trip to boston in the vw van with craig sampson and mark sorenson, we listened to pieces vrgo rising a hundred times that trip and i still love it and sing itloud when it coes up, the beatles white album is the trip to the canadian rockies.jessie winchester never comes up but i still hear him singing tennesee waltz in my minds eye.
    in my travels to far away places the internet took over but in pre internet days i used to have a collection of stuff id take with me . miles davis kind of blue, errol garner, oscar peterson, diana krall lyle lovvett john prine joni mitchell and of course bob dylan, never mind the peanut butter, never mind the tea, give me music and im at home.
    aint that right baboons…ayeeee

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Funny you should ask. I’ve been missing home a lot recently.

    There is no single song. Many great songs from TLGMS reduce me to sniffles: Little Potato, The Field Behind the Plow, Old Love, Powdermilk Biscuit song, so many more.

    And then there is the Big Top Chautauqua where my family sang along to fabulous tunes so many summer evenings on the Bayfield Peninsula. And in this case I can name the particular song that opens the floodgates of memory for me, a sentimental ballad called Riding the Wind.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A bunch of the baboons were just discussing all our old favorites from TLGMS over the weekend. When the Prairie Sun Climbs Out of the Hay came up repeatedly. Also Albert Dance Around, Mary Ellen Carter, With Her Head Tucked Underneath `Er Arm and some train songs as well!

    If you have any of the Keepers CDs from over the years and are coming to Book Club next month, bring them along – Bill is going to compile for us all. BE SURE TO LABEL YOURS!!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I have a damaged Best of and Cowboys.

      Given my book club track record, I would be happy to connect those to another Baboon ahead of time if it meant I could get access to the total compilation.


  4. Far away is something I do not seem to get from here these days, but I do long for Up North when I hear Carla Sciaky singing Under the Quarter Moon (alas, no youtube of her singing it).

    Ironically, I have never really been able to spend a lot of time there.

    working on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Greetings! I always loved “Waltzing with Bears” — such a sweet tune. Absolute favorite would have to be “I Want a Head Like the Heads You See on Easter Island” — such a creative idea and great dance tune.

    In fact, I just found a few of my Keepers CD’s over the weekend! I’ll try to make it to the next BBC.


        1. The ending is just bizarre.

          The rest leaves me wondering if the person who made it does not understand what the song is about or is being “ironic”.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t feel bad, cb. When I read the title, I thought it was going to be about quonset huts for early space settlers on Mars or something.


      1. BiR, i’m leaving friday for what is for me an epic journey. traveling by plane, train, train, bus, bus, and plane. stops include lees summit, mo., portland, or., port angeles, wa., and seattle. the train will travel from kansas city through the southwest u.s. and then up the west coast.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Saw Amos Lee sing this at the State Theater. I thought at the time that it was something he added just for the Twin Cities audience, but apparently he sings it on tour wherever he goes…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The question may seem straight forward, and it probably is for those who are not ambivalent about where “home” is. More and more I think that when I’m nostalgic about a place, it would be more accurate to say that I’m nostalgic about a time. There are a lot of songs that revive a certain time and place for me, but it’s really more a state of mind than place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very true – there was a lot of music created around the time of the Vietnam War that is very evocative of its era. Some of the songs reference the war directly; others just trigger the memory.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. As you all know, my relationship with my mother was a mixed bag. Tomorrow, St. Patrick’s Day, is the one day each year I allow myself to celebrate her full out and with no reservation. The Irish are, to my mind, the World Champions of nostalgic songs about the “home” country. After a few beers, everyone is crying. Danny Boy, Galway Bay and I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen are but a few examples of the genre. Not exactly my cup o’ tea. I like to think my mom would like this one, though I’m pretty sure she never heard it:

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

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