Aye, this is a CD I shall be purchasin’.
Leering, full of menace and the threat of pain, “15 Men on a Dead Man’s Chest” is arguably the most famous pirate song ever committed to tape (and thanks to its refrain, “Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum,” it also ranks among the more pro-booze sing-alongs in the children’s section of the music store).
But as a genre, pirate music remains obscure even by musicologists’ standards. To spotlight a genre that has all but disappeared — as well as cannily promote their summer blockbuster “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” — Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski commissioned an expansive compendium of such seafarer music, “Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys,” due Aug. 22 on Anti- Records. Its 43 tracks include contributions from Sting, Bono, Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed, Loudon Wainwright III, Van Dyke Parks and Bryan Ferry among an eclectic roster.
I need to be thinkin’ about restorin’ Pirate Mode here, too. The place is gettin’ too…lubberly.