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Pirate Smith of Bristol
Last updated: 25.01.17
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I first heard "Pirate Smith of Bristol" on a Dubliner's recording at the end of the 1970's. I transcribed it for the "Idle Fellows" at sometime in 1979 and it was one of our favourites and of our better numbers. As it is such a good song I am surprised that it is not better known or widespread in the Internet.
The version I sing today, which I found very much later, can be found in Colm O Lochlainn's More Irish Street Ballads. This song is a rare animal, an Irish song of the sea. It beats me why an Irishman would want to proclaim an English pirate hailing out of Bristol!. The lyrics are very Irish however, as they are very amusing and there are asides alluding to "Smith's Norman soul". There is also a fine roaring chorus.
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