8. Mad Jim Black

Busting out my new banjolele along with penny whistle. Absolutely nothing groundbreaking here in the music or the lyrics, but it’s fun to do a shanty and kinda figure out the conventions of a genre.

Unrelatedly – I really need to jerry-rig/buy a pop filter. I sure spit a lot.

Mad Jim Black

He was sailor called Jim Black
He sailed across the sea
To earn his keep and win the hand
Of fair Miss Emily
Her father was a wealthy man
Looked down at poor Jim Black
“My girl, you’ll wed a man of worth
Or go and never come back”

Mad Jim Black, they cry
Don’t throw your life away
Mad Jim Black, you’ll die
By your own hand one day

Doggedly he toiled at sea
Saved every coin he earned
No wine or women tempted Jim
Every comfort spurned
As his body ached at night
He dreamt of flowing hair
Blushing cheeks and fluttering eye
He’d win her fair and square


At five years’ end he sailed home
He was no longer poor
In finest suit and gold in hand
He knocked on her father’s door
The old man came with startled look
“Emily’s not here
She could not wait forever, boy
She wed then disappeared”


He searched the country and the town
He searched in every lane
Then one day he met a girl
Who recognised her name
“Emily, she was so sweet
Her husband did her wrong
He knew her heart wasn’t his
He beat her all night long”


He ran his hand across her grave
And paced there day and night
He threw his gold into the sea
And in the end, his life
They say that if you walk at dark
You’ll hear his desperate plea
“Emily my life my love
Why didn’t you wait for me”

Mad Jim Black, he cried
He threw his life away
Mad Jim Black, he died
By his own hand one day


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