The Captain’s Tale

The Captain’s Tale was commissioned in 2004 as part of the song cycle ‘Beyond the White Sails’ for Caulfield Grammar, under the direction of Davina McClure. The creative journey and the process of involving the entire upper primary school in research and development was one of the most respected composer in residence programs in Australia at the time.

Students in years five and six took part in an inclusive research project with the composer which would result in the creation of a major performance piece. A topic relevant to the school would be chosen, and all agreed that the history of the shipwreck coast of Victoria, including the story of the famous Lockhart disaster, would give the students the opportunity to experience first hand how to research a wide topic and use this knowledge to create a relevant work. After an initial field trip, staff, students and Paul Jarman spent months studying related topics including mapping and geography, special histories, lighthouses, shipbuilding and trade. Through a series of workshops with Paul and local historians, collective input gradually became verse, music and then a musical theatre piece, composed by Paul Jarman inspired by the student’s poetry, art work, stories and melodies. Students had spent a year working closely with Paul and their teachers, engaging in history through the arts.

The Captain’s Tale is a thrilling and enjoyable piece for all ages.

Sample recording courtesy of the Hillcrest Christian College, directed by Jenny Moon

Themes

Sing a choir favourite Sing a global story Sing a Jarman classic Sing an Australian story Sing the adventure
Duration 3:20
Key D minor
Range Middle C to D5 with optional high G
More info Very suited to theatrics, solos and staging. Also suits violin and recorder/whistle

Lyrics

T H E   C A P T A I N ‘ S   T A L E                        

By Paul Jarman

Here ye boys, what’ll it be
Come gather round have a drink on me
Tales to tell and tales to hear
At the bottom of the sea

Here ye boys, join our song
Sink your ship and it wont be long
Plenty of room for a sailor done wrong
At the bottom of the sea

Here ye boys, we’re still here
A hundred years drinking plenty of beer
Drowned our sorrows in the deep
At the bottom of the sea

Here ye boys, a little advice
If you fight the swell it will take your life
‘Died like a man’, they’ll tell your wife
At the bottom of the sea

Here ye boys, the years pass by
So we stay where the sea dogs lie
Drinking all the oceans dry
At the bottom of the sea

Here ye boys, what’ll it be
Come gather round have a drink on me
Tales to tell and tales to hear
And you guessed it, plenty of beer
All of you are welcome here
At the bottom of the sea

Hear now the captain’s tale
Listen to the captain’s wail
All above come down below
Hear the captain’s tale

© Paul Jarman 2004