Ballad of Shillelagh O'Toole

by Robert Palomo - New Old Sea Shanties & Songs

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about

Styled after the classic sea songs of yesteryear, here's a salt-flavored ballad about an old orange-haired pirate who's proud of his big "shillelagh", who abuses women, who wreaks havoc among travelers from many nations, and who sinks perfectly sound ships for fun and profit, aided and abetted by a corrupt and soulless crew. (If you want to go reading other things into that – well, that's your business!)

The twisted marauder, Ireland's cruelest pirate, wreaks blackthorn havoc upon the high seas until one fateful day when he meets a man whose shillelagh is bigger than his. Herein lies a Karmic life lesson to which certain People in High Places these days would do well to pay heed.

All hail Saint Patrick and full speed ahead!

lyrics

Shillelagh O'Toole was an old Irish pirate
His ship roved the oceans afar
His raiment was green as the meadows of Éire
His heart black as fresh Stockholm tar

CHORUS:
Nor cutlass nor dagger e'er would he carry
No pistol did ever he bear
Just had him a big old blackthorn shillelagh
Lead-filled, with some nails
Driven in here and there
Oh never was any pirate more cruel
Than the old Irish pirate, Shillelagh O'Toole!

Shillelagh O'Toole were a merchantman's curse
Out o' fog banks his vessel would pounce
His crew they would board, wielding pistol and sword
While O'Toole swung that stick's every ounce

Shillelagh O'Toole he'd no mercy at all
He sank brigantines, schooners, and barques
On their captains' heads his blackthorn did fall
And he tossed each dead corpse to the sharks

CHORUS

Shillelagh O'Toole had a shriveled-up soul
As knotty and black as his stick
Whether man or woman, young lad or maiden
He bashed all their heads in right quick

Shillelagh O'Toole's beard it was red
He'd blood on his hands, and a price on his head
His black cudgel cut many a sailor's life short
They chafed for to hang him in many a port

CHORUS

Shillelagh O'Toole at last met his match
When he boarded the Maid O' Cadiz
There he encountered young Davey O'Dowd
Whose shillelagh was bigger than his!

Shillelagh O'Toole and Davey O'Dowd
Fought like demons, so the tale does tell
But hardy young Davey had the bigger shillelagh
And he knocked old O'Toole straight into Hell!

CHORUS

Davey O'Dowd was hailed as a hero
For the Maid O' Cadiz he did save
His legend lived on in story and song
Long after he'd gone to his grave

So, me boys, learn the lesson o' Shillelagh O'Toole
As ye sail off to seek foreign shores
Someday, somewhere, ye'll meet the man
Whose shillelagh is bigger than yours!

CHORUS

credits

released March 17, 2017
Written & performed by Robert Palomo
Recorded & mastered at Total Chaos Studio, Toksovo Region, Russia
Pirate cartoon character created by Nick Gowman (www.nickgowman.com)
History of the pirate: tinyurl.com/otoole1/

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about

Robert Palomo - New Old Sea Shanties & Songs Saint Petersburg, Russia

Robert Palomo is an American singer-songwriter based in Saint-Petersburg, Russia where he has lived for 20 years.

A multi-instrumentalist with a passion for acoustic music, he is recording songs he has written over several decades, plus new ones that keep popping up.

His latest project is original maritime folk songs.

His is a different story - do follow along!
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