"The Hook" as written by and John C. Popper....
At age 19 i was kidnapped by turkish pirates
Mediterranean thugs
After some torture they considered me their mascot
Cypriotic good luck
I had to taste the deck and many other things
I had to pay the piper with my wedding ring
And i would never see my family again

By 25 i was respected as an equal
My art was a knife
On countless raids i was the first one up the lanyard
Yeah i was seeking a fight
There is no time to pray
And there's no time to beg
And then it's off with an arm
Or it's off with a leg
And if i spare your life
It's because the tide is leaving

Oh yeah

By 31 I was the captain of a galleon
I was poseidon's new son
The coast of montenegro was my favorite target
It was ever so fun
We had no wooden legs
Or steel hooks
We had no black eye patches
Or a starving cook
We were just killers with the cold eyes of a sailor
Yeah we were killers with the cold eyes of a sailor


Lyrics submitted by Kez

"The Hook" as written by John C. Popper

Lyrics © THE BICYCLE MUSIC COMPANY

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The Hook song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThe best pirate song ever
    SpaceManSpiffon June 18, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti always thought of these lyrics as a valediction for malkmus's time in pavement. and i thought of "the hook" as having double-meaning as a pirate's hook and a musical hook. and of this song being one of the first times that malkmus goes verse-chorus-verse with a hook instead of trying to deconstruct/destroy it. important song, imo.
    townsieon February 26, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's abou the difficulty of time travel nowadays, with the rising prices of oil barrels and, you know, the extinction of raptors.
    thiagofonsecaon March 14, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentARRRRRRRRR
    mabiron December 02, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wondered if it might be about someone who grows up and eventually falls in line with the status quo after starting being a bit rebellious/idealistic, with the buoyant nature of the song being typically (for Malkmus) at odds with this rather sad reading. You never can tell with this chap though, it could just be a cool story. Incidentally, there's an ace live version of this which was a B-Side to Discretion Grove (I think).
    Tatchon March 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWith his child-like, playful, explorative and vivid imagination, Steve Malkmus describes an alter-world in where he's a pirate. I concur with Spaceman Spiff – this is the greatest ever written. It doesn't fail to put a smile on my face when I hear it.

    A quick edit though, I believe it should be 'stubborn' cook, not 'starving'.
    SamHaslamon August 09, 2014   Link

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