Das Hosenlied vom Calico Jack
, which can be heard on Seeräuber Report
, came into my repertoire at the behest of Manfred Eichholz of the The Vegesack Whalermen
. The song was written by Heinz Gietz (music), Fritz Graßhoff (lyrics) and sung by German actress Ingrid van Bergen
. It humourously celebrates the notorious English Pirate of the Caribbean Jack Rackham
(1682-1720) aka Calico Jack who was known for the two women in his crew, Mary Read and Ann Bonny both having songs about them on Seeräuber Report.
.Instead of telling of Rackham's remarkable career of piracy and derring-do, the song concerns itself, as the title suggests, with Jack's sea trousers. The first verse tells us that the trousers were a filthy patchwork that turned from blue to black by blood and fat becoming bullet-proof and stiff as a board. The splendid second verse with "Und hatte er unten 'ne Lady beim Speck
" tells us that while Jack was below decks occupied by his ladies, his trousers were standing alone above on deck. They, the trousers (why are trousers plural?), changed colour from black to grey to green and rotted becoming unwearable. They were a wreck and so was Jack! In real life however, Jack was hanged for piracy,
and I went to the task with gusto and had great fun singing random alternate lines - I do not recall however that we ever sang it publicly.