Tales of the Brine and the Maritime

by Adam Kurtz

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Twas time for Sea Shanties to be writ about Casco Bay and its waters. Captain Adam explores the Merriconeag by boat and by song in this collection of modern day Shanties for Sailers of all breed.

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released July 14, 2015

Captain Adam Kurtz: vocal and guitar

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Adam Kurtz Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville-based singer, songwriter, guitarist, pedal steel guitarist, manic-album-maker, wing enthusiast.

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Track Name: Beware the Swirlies
A July day with white, hazy skies
We took a mighty crew
Aboard the Maude who welcomed us proud
As she is wont to do
We quested for fish, the mackerel-fish
To fill our emptied cores
Heading full steam to the sacred waters
Off of Haskell's shores

We remembered the words our Grandfather urged
Always be ware!
Beware! Beware the Swirlies!
Traverse them if you dare!
For those who cross the Swirlies
Seldom tell the tale
They seldom tell the tale

With hope in our bones and our lines cast out
We waited for the bites
The bend of the pole that told us tonight
We'd dine to our delight
When the first mate called out, despair in her voice,
Quivering with fear
"Aye, on this course, not far off the bow,
The Swirlies do appear!"

We remembered the words our Grandfather urged
Always be ware!
Beware! Beware the Swirlies!
Traverse them if you dare!
For those who cross the Swirlies
Seldom tell the tale
They seldom tell the tale

With nowhere to run and nowhere to hide
The Captain followed true
Left of the red, to the right of the green
Of the buoys numbering two
The sea serpent spikes of Haddock Rock
Lured us to our wreck
We knew that the Swirlies cared not where we died
So long as we splintered our deck

We remembered the words our Grandfather urged
Always be ware!
Beware! Beware the Swirlies!
Traverse them if you dare!
For those who cross the Swirlies
Seldom tell the tale
They seldom tell the tale

Steadfast and brave our crew carried on
In hope of Haskell's Lee
We never did quit on our mackerel-fish quest
We don't quit so easily.
Because we were proud and caught us a fist
The Swirlies were no match
And on to the port we sailed with the triumph
Of living and of our catch.

We remembered the words our Grandfather urged
Always be ware!
Beware! Beware the Swirlies!
Traverse them if you dare!
For those who cross the Swirlies
Seldom tell the tale
But we lived to tell the tale
Track Name: The Farthest Place I'll Go
Halfway Rock is the farthest place I’ll go
What lies on beyond her I won’t ever know
If sea ships run by mermaids sail the waters south of her I’ll never know
Because Halfway Rock is the farthest place I’ll go

I was born with sea legs, I was built to sail the seas
Exploring bays and inlets throughout the Merriconeag
Rare is it a rock I find that I ain’t seen before
I have been by Thrumbcap, I’ve laid anchor by Whaleboat’s shore

Halfway Rock is the farthest place I’ll go
What lies on beyond her I won’t ever know
If whale-fish run a disco for the merman boys and girls I’ll never know
Because Halfway Rock is the farthest place I’ll go

Put a fog around me, I’ll sail through Jaquish Gut
Then underneath the Cribstone Bridge I’ll return with both eyes shut
I’ll take a crew to Ship’s Cove without a chart in hand
I’ll tell tale of gnomes who live upon those enchanted lands

Halfway Rock is the farthest place I’ll go
What lies on beyond her I won’t ever know
If the great Poseidon has a mermaid slave beside him I’ll never know
Because Halfway Rock is the farthest place I’ll go

I will sail past Drunkers Ledge toward the open sea
I will stand upon the Maude both tall and triumphantly
I’ll circumnavigate those rocks that mark the halfway spot
Then quickly back to mainland so to drink the ale I’ve bought

‘Cause Halfway Rock is the farthest place I’ll go
What lies on beyond her I won’t ever know
If the seals that swim her waters know of mermaid breeding grounds I’ll never know
Because Halfway Rock is the farthest place I’ll go
Track Name: The Cursing of the Teri Lee
We curse, we curse the Teri Lee
And her crew one by one
How many times must she slice our lines
Before her work is done
Before her cursed work be done?

An August escape to the waters of Maine
To catch a feast of fish
Our lines unfurled, our lures so sharp
We never could’ve expected this
A boat, a boat, a lobstering boat
Approached and overtook
Our lines went limp, one after the other,
We lost our every hook

We curse, we curse the Teri Lee
And her crew one by one
How many times must she slice our lines
Before her work is done
Before her cursed work be done?

Helpless the feeling as in vain we be reeling
Our limply dangling lines
Nothing has bit them yet they are broken
And the Teri Lee so close by
She growled with malice, her captain long calloused
To the simple ways of man
Left us in her wake, to the horizon she did take
As just the kin of Satan can

We curse, we curse the Teri Lee
And her crew one by one
How many times must she slice our lines
Before her work is done
Before her cursed work be done?
Track Name: Captain Overboard
Captain, Captain Overboard
He plunged into the sea
He took to the waves of the Merrigoneag
And he took with him: me.
Yes he took with him: me.

What a day, what a day to take a sail
High on ocean’s crust
Fill every sail to the brim with wind
We should, nay, we must
A wave, a wave so rogue and grand
Attacked us at the stern
Our Captain did tumble into the Sound
Then I, too, took my turn

Captain, Captain Overboard
He plunged into the sea
He took to the waves of the Merrigoneag
And he took with him: me.
Yes he took with him: me.

Like a lightning bolt from Poseidon’s trident
So quick we made our dive
“Oh Captain! Oh Captain! Grandfather of mine
I pray you are alive!”
“Yes lad, I am, but my spectacles
Now lie on ocean’s floor.
This day we lost my bi-focaled lenses,
Our pride, but nothing more!”

Captain, Captain Overboard
He plunged into the sea
He took to the waves of the Merrigoneag
And he took with him: me.
Yes he took with him: me.

May have been hours or days or weeks
Or months adrift at sea
As fortune could have it, was only a minute,
‘Fore the Maude returned to retrieve
With the grace of a sea lion I climbed back aboard
Ashamed by the hand I’d been dealt
The Captain returned to the helm with less grace
I hoisted him up by his belt.

Captain, Captain Overboard
He plunged into the sea
He took to the waves of the Merrigoneag
And he took with him: me.
Yes he took with him: me.

Fair maidens and wives whom we’d left safe at port
Rejoiced our safe return
Craning their necks to hear tale of triumphs
And conquests we had earned.
The room fell as silent as a stillborn babe
As the Captain’s speech began
Maybe, just maybe, we needn’t be pushed
To ever go full sail again.
We shall never go full sail again!

Captain, Captain Overboard
He plunged into the sea
He took to the waves of the Merrigoneag
And he took with him: me.
Yes he took with him: me.
Oh Captain, Captain Overboard
Who plunged into the sea.
Track Name: What Maiden What Maiden
What maiden, what maiden would betroth to me
A Captain out at sea?
What maiden, what maiden would give herself to
A Captain out at sea?

I have no wife awaiting my ship
No word down Widow’s walk
Nary a lady stares wistfully out at the rocks
There was Young Isabella who walked by my side
Before I set out to sea
Young Isabella, now old, has forgot about me
The girls at the inn would giggle and dance
Whilst filling my cup full of rum
At the end of the evening, the evening was done

What maiden, what maiden would betroth to me
A Captain out at sea?
What maiden, what maiden would give herself to
A Captain out at sea?

The fairest Rebecca, with porcelain cheeks,
Gazed her glass eyes on mine
Rebecca married a peddler of lamb and swine.
Mary, the daughter of the mayor, did whisper
Secrets for only mine ears
Mary fell ill, she’s been gone for a fistful of years.
Alone on the bridge of my one worldly love
I soak in the brine
Ocean swells supplanting the supple breasts that could have been mine

What maiden, what maiden would betroth to me
A Captain out at sea?
What maiden, what maiden would give herself to
A Captain lost at sea?