Salty Dick is a pseudonym of Jerry Bryant, a folk musician specializing in maritime music. Jerry has recorded and preserved hundreds of traditional sailor songs for following generations. He also writes music of his own, inspired by the characters and events of the traditional material. In 2004 he released an album under the name called Salty Dick's Uncensored Sailor Songs..
"Awh, how cute." I bet you are thinking. "A folkie doing rude songs!"
Well you might be in for a pleasant surprise. This record makes football chants and rap songs sound like playground sing-a-longs. I don't want to stress the point so I'll give you one warning. These songs are very rude, explicit and hilarious. Lyrics follow below!
Naturally there is much swearing. But also are tales of whores, infections, misogyny, masturbation, buggery, rum, sodomy and the lash. The stories are compelling, funny, and often filled with delicious metaphor and ridiculous characters. They are performed with wit, irony and passion.
The tunes are pretty catchy too. They are delivered fairly stripped down and with a selection of instruments such as guitar, banjo and accordion. Some songs also feature a backing choir or chorus section. Most are lively and will get you at least tapping your feet along. Be careful not to catch yourself mindlessly singing a chorus here or there in a public location. You might just draw a few funny looks.
Probably the best way to enjoy this record requires a few bottles of wine and a group of male friends. The first and only step is to get as drunk as a sailor on shore leave and before long you will be leaning on each other, swinging your tankards, and bellowing out the choruses to shanties you barely know the words of. If you're looking for something different to try, this album has a hearty recommendation from me.
As a sample here are the words from a lovely little ditty called A matlow told me. It goes like this:
A matlow told me before he died
And I've no reason to think he lied.
He knew a whore with a cunt so wide
That she could never be satisfied.
So he built a bloody great wheel
Two balls of brass and a prick of steel.
The balls of brass were filled with cream
And the whole fucking issue was driven by steam.
Round and round went the bloody great wheel,
In and out went the prick of steel,
Until at last this whore she cried,
"Enough, enough, I'm satisfied!"
Now we come to the sorry bit
For there was no way of stopping it.
She was split from cunt to tit,
And the whole fucking issue was covered in shit.
You can listen to Salty Dick's Uncensored Sailor Songs on Spotify.