Pecked by the seagulls
Hanging from the gallows
Swinging in the breeze
Dripping something on the streets
I can see him from my window they can see him from the water
Just a victim of the press gang

I knew him when he was breathing
He was a good man, he was a young man
He was like you, he was like me
It could've been me
It could've been me

Twisting in the breeze
(cut him down, cut him down)
Left for the children on the streets
(cut him down, cut him down)
On the streets

He should have kept his mouth shut
He never shoulda left that ship
Don't go drinking down by the docks
You don't know if you'll wake up

I knew him when he was breathing
He was a good man, he was a young man
He was like you, he was like me
It could've been me
It could've been me

Twisting in the breeze
(cut him down, cut him down)
Left for the children on the streets
(cut him down, cut him down)
On the streets

Woke up on the water
No one ever asked him if he wanted to go
Didn't have many options
He was smart; he got out when he could
Shoulda stayed in the Pacific
Should have stayed in the Pacific
Could've had it good
Any island
Any island wouldn't do
Any island wouldn't do

I knew him when he was breathing
He was a good man, he was a young man
He was like you, he was like me
It could've been you
It should've been me

But it should've been the press gang
(cut him down, cut him down)
But it should've been the press gang
(cut him down, cut him down)
Cut him down, cut him down
Cut him down


Lyrics submitted by vacantskies

Press Gang song meanings
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    General CommentPirates had more rights and less work load on board their ships than they would have in the navy or if they were on a merchant ship. They were also paid much better. Most chose to be a pirate as apposed to being shanghaied into the military by a press gang. "He was smart he got out when he could" I believe refers to our dude joining some pirates and leaving the navy. When a pirate was caught they were almost always executed, and their bodies would often be hung in a gibbet to deter others from becoming pirates. I'm pretty sure that's what the first verse about swingin' in the breeze is about. Also "I can see him from my window they can see him from the water" supports that. The order of events is confusing, but I'm pretty sure there is some pirate stuff in there.
    incircles9on April 02, 2011   Link

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