Our boots and clothes are all in pawn
Go down, ye blood red roses, Go down.
And its flamin' drafty 'round Cape Horn,
Go down, ye blood red roses, Go down.
chorus: Oh, ye pinks and posies,
Go down, ye blood red roses, Go down.

My dear old mother said to me,
My dearest son, come home from sea.
It's 'round Cape Horn we all must go
'Round Cape Horn in the frost and snow.
You've got your advance, and to sea you'll go
To chase them whales through the frost and snow.
It's 'round Cape Horn you've got to go,
For that is where them whalefish blow.
It's growl you may, but go you must,
If you growl too much your head they'll bust.
Just one more pull and that will do
For we're the boys to kick her through.



Lyrics submitted by sillybunny

Blood Red Roses song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThis is from “Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys” a compilation cd to be released August 22nd, featuring various artists and created by Hal Wilner when Johnny Depp and the director of the two “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies—Gore Verbinski expressed an interest in pirate lore.
    sillybunnyon August 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI’m smiling …
    I’m so glad—my, but you’re quiet today …

    Then the mate came dancing on the scene
    And she said—now quit yer chin
    Or I’ll knock yer skulls—so help me, Hannah!
    And let some wisdom in
    Ye doddering scum of the slums—she says
    Are ye drunk or blazing nuts
    If ye wish to save yer sickly hides
    Ye best get off yet butts!

    Everyone was really really hoping you weren’t serious …
    Huh?
    Does this pertain to this song's meaning?
    Naturally! Why do you ask?
    Oh ...
    sillybunnyon August 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe artists clearly savour the opportunity to play pirate and each give it their own stamp. So, we have Bill Frisell's languid, haunting take on Spanish Ladies and Sting's hoary growl on traditional worksong Blood Red Roses, while Nick Cave snarls his way through Pinery Boy and Fire Down Below.
    sillybunnyon August 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere are girls in forty seaports
    And they all wait for you
    Wait for Johnny Chanteyman
    And his all singin’ crew

    But they’d better deck their bosoms
    With bright ribbons gay
    And forget about those other sailors
    Singin’ down the way

    Now the hungry seas are breakin’
    With an angry little roar
    And there’s black squalls a’blowin’
    Pipin’ past a coral shore

    There’s a clipper lying broken
    In quite a few odd parts
    He said, lady, get some other guy
    To play yer dumb part-heart

    Tain’t no use to love a sailor
    Tain’t no use to wait the day
    For yer Johnnie’s chanteys are
    Cheerily ringin’ down along the bay

    Tain’t no use to listen, baby
    For this seaman’s love
    Just happens to be somethin’
    No one gets possession of


    Bill Adams—Johnny Chanteyman [paraphrased]
    sillybunnyon September 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWe were schooner-rigged and rakish
    With a long and lissome hull
    And we flew the pretty colors
    Of the crossbones and the skull

    The wind and sea were fair
    We lay at anchor there
    The stars burned in the air
    When in the midnight dark
    Our watcher saw a spark
    Then as we looked amazed
    Others and other blazed
    Terror set them crazed
    They ran down screaming—fire ships are coming! Wake!
    Cast loose for crissake!
    Eight fire ships coming on the lake
    Look at their gleaming!

    The English would not close
    They fought us as they chose
    Dealing us deadly blows—for several hours
    And drove us north and now—another woe
    A never ending gale of frost and snow

    Now our hearts failed
    They washed about the wet decks as we sailed
    Desolate seas we sailed so grim and wide
    With neither sun nor star—to be our guide
    Defeat is bitter and the truth is hard
    We are defeated—England has prevailed
    This is your banner—which I could not guard
    And this—is your crappy old sword that failed!

    Down in her bunk, the beauty lay awake
    Thinking of her unfitness for the sea
    Each failure, each derision, each mistake
    There in the life not made for such as she
    The ship lay on her broadside—the wind’s sound
    Had devilish malice, at having got her downed

    How long the wind had blown, she could not tell
    A moment now—was everlasting Hell
    Down on the bloody deck! the captain screamed
    The multitudinous little snowflakes sped
    Her pain was real enough but all else seemed
    Panting but full of life and eager eyed

    The pain was stunning her and the wind went by
    More heartbreak, said the mate—here, Beauty—try!
    As if he got a message—hell, he’s gone
    Here Beauty dances—I say it will go on!

    Say, there’s a mort of wicked rogues
    That lives in good reputes
    I’m for drinking honestly and dying in my boots!
    Green were her eyes and her hair was soft and bonny
    Golden she was—like wild bee’s honey
    And a fellow will forget—how a sleeper lies awake
    Lonely in the night watch
    Crying for his sake

    [paraphrased]
    sillybunnyon September 30, 2006   Link

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