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I was reading Marcus Rediker's book, Villains of All Nations, about pirates during the early 18th century, and this was the result.
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david rovics
david rovics 2008
the commons
Wed Feb 13, 2008
Acoustic : Folk
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» highest in charts:   # 46   (151,618 songs currently listed in Acoustic)
» highest in sub-genre:   # 2   (13,469 songs currently listed in Acoustic > Folk)
About the song
I was reading Marcus Rediker's book, Villains of All Nations, about pirates during the early 18th century, and this was the result.
Lyrics
Come all you sailors near and far

You honest men know who you are

All of you who'd dare be free

Combine with us upon the sea

Together we will drink a toast

Ride the wind on down the coast

See the merchant ship to board

Raise a jar and swing a sword

Watch to see the merchant captain crying

When they see the black flag flying



The war with Spain is over now

No more Jack over the bow

We fight for no one but our class

We're gonna kick some captain's ass

All you who'd live before you die

Come give an honest life a try

Sail beneath the skull and bones

Pay no heed to crowns and thrones

No more greedy princes lying

When you sail with the black flag flying



No more whips and no more chains

To live free or die is what remains

If life is too short either way

You might as well live free today

All for one and one for all

We'll board the ship and make the call

Join us, all you good men

And have your liberty again

Watch the crew now leave their captain frying

As they come sail with the black flag flying



Here's to Fly and Roberts, brave and true

And Mary Kelly's gallant crew

It seems to me the world is ours

Watch as the mighty Navy cowers

We have no nation but the sea

No creed but that we will live free

We'll loot and burn all that we can

That's run by a dishonest man

Their end is near and there is no denying

When they see the black flag flying

If I could predict the future then I would

But all I know is this is good

1720 is the year

And there is nothing left to fear

We may live or we may die

Perhaps our destiny is nigh

I don't know what the future may hold

But I know these ships are filled with gold

That was stolen from the poor as we lay dying

So let us sail with the black flag flying