Larry Kenny -- Project portfolio

Singer and Sailor

I wrote this song in early 2008, pacing around an empty room of Worcester Polytech's music basement. Originally, instead of whistling during the bridge, I sang falsetto oohs, but my falsetto has since become unreliable (and remained unappealing). Once when performing the song live, the whistling was picked up by my mic and created a nice echoing effect - I was originally trying to replicate that in this recording but I got carried away. Part of the sound you hear is made by recording the inside of a guitar while playing the melody on flute from the other side of the room. I hope it sounds haunting...

If you like this song, you should definitely check out the Decemberists' "The Mariner's Revenge Song", given that it probably shares enough genes with this song that the two could mate.


Well I spent two years as apprentice to a blacksmith
Just to raise the money to take a ship to sea
I made meager wages shipping folks to far-off shorelines
Not a damn clue where to go, but I hear the ocean calling me

You grew up in my town; most folks thought we were siblings
You could outsing all the songbirds; you made the townsmen pine
But you'd sooner die than marry to get wealthy
So you joined a church choir and sang for bread and wine

Well I am a sailor, spending most my life at sea
Well you are a singer, and you're just as lost as me
We're the only home we've got now, so come aboard with me
Shake loose the world's shackles, send your song across the sea

In a nameless foreign port, by chance I heard you singing
You said the world it holds you down, you want to sing to the gods above
I said come aboard my ship; we'll said into the heavens
Got to learn the price we'll pay for doing what we love


We sailed away; we were never seen again
Most folks thought we perished, and how else could it have been?
Our fate I will not tell you, but you needn't ask of me
You can hear our haunting music when you listen to the sea