Pirate Punk Rock!

I missed posting for a couple weeks on here, so sorry about that. I live in China and unfortunately the government here has been cracking down on VPN use over the last little while and I’ve not been able to access any western websites until now!

So what have I been up to? Well I’ve been working on the last song for the Grass Mud Horse album, it’s titled No Prey No Pay! I started writing this song about six months ago and it lay unfinished. I wasn’t sure if I was going to include on the Grass Mud Horse album or not, but the album needed a final song and after going through my lyric books and ideas, I found stuff for this song and decided I would give it a go.

To whet your whistle, I’m going to let you hear the very first demo version of No Prey No Pay and at the end of this post I will include the latest pre-master version that after mixing and mastering will go on the album.


No Prey No Pay!

The premise behind the song was basically a Celtic Punk song, sung by a Pirate Captain. I did a bunch of research into old pirate/Naval slang and language to find some inspiration and some ideas for my lyrics.

I wanted the song to feature Tin Whistle, so I came up with some chord progression in the key of C (I have whistles in C, D, & G). I had this really simple driving chord progression D5, Bb5, C5 and it was over that that came up with a fast melody that was reminiscent of a Sailors Hornpipe or something, so I thought it was perfect as the main riff to base the song around. The melody is supported on Mandolin and I gave the mandolin a solo, which I’m quite proud of. Heres a video of me trying to write the Whistle part (finding when to breath was a challenge) and writing the mandolin solo for it as well.

The lyrics where a little bit difficult as I had basically created a character in my mind (a Pirate Captain), and so I was writing for him not myself which is something I think I’ve only really done on this album (The hill I chose to die on is also from a characters point of view). Once I got into character I found the process quite enjoyable and I even got into character to sing the final version of the song as well as you saw in the video above.

I used some of the ideas I got from my research, but a lot of it just came from my head depending on what rhymed or flowed right. Anyway here are the lyrics.

No Prey No Pay!
by Chris Barry

We’re setting sail once more to raid,
the Spanish Kings own gold,
We’ll hunt his scurvy rotten ships,
and plunder all they hold,
We’re setting course, with no remorse,
We’re as rotten as we’re damned,
We’ll spill their guts, just ‘cos we must,
it’s to fortune, or be hanged!

No Prey No Pay! – Our code our way!
No Prey No Pay! – We fight, we slay!
No Prey No Pay! – To the devil we say!
The order of the day – No Prey No Pay!

Verse 1
Prepare to come about,
a shot across the bow,
the chance to end this now,
strike your colours be a coward!
If you stand your ground, you’ll be shark bait when you drown!

Verse 2
Throw the boardin’ hooks,
Draw your cutlass, swig a dram,
prepare to board her men!
Smell their fear, drink it in!
Lads we’ll soon be rich, while this lot will soon be dead!

Verse 3
Crack of muskets, dyin’ screams,
clash of steel strikin’ bones,
The sweetest sounds I know,
blood streams into the sea,
another battle’s won and the day is ours again!

I think it’s a really fun song, hopefully it has some potential for any TV shows or movies about Pirates, that’d be really cool! I love this song a lot and I hope you do too! Here’s the premaster of the final version for you to enjoy. Thanks for Reading! Chris

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