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Music to Maraud by 

Pirates of old valued and appreciated music, so much so they would force musicians to join their crews.  It may not have been cultured music, but 'twas usually something they could sing or dance to.  There are many accounts by pirate victims describing music and a loud din from the attacking pirate ship which would put a fear into the victims.  It was called "vapouring".   Fiddlers, bagpipers, drummers, trumpeters, oboists (hautboyists), and many others were aboard pirate ships.  And of course, pirates, and sailors in general, loved to sing. 

Below is a listing of recordings featuring music, for, by and about pirates. We encourage you to buy these recordings and support these musicians, so they can afford to keep making music and more recordings.  Just because we are pirates, doesn't mean you should PIRATE the music!

If you are looking for lyrics and music to pirate songs, you might get a copy of our No Quarter Given Pirate Song Book.



Sample pirate-themed music every Monday evening from 8-11 PM CST. Click on the banner and follow instructions to listen in.  Playlists from previous shows can be viewed at Bilgemunky's Myspace Page.




THE ALASKAN PIRATE & HIS SALTY SEAMEN:  Come Aboard is their only album so far.  Traditional songs "All for me Grog", "Captain Kidd" and "Row Me Hearties".  Several original pirate compositions as well.  Don't be fooled -- despite their name, this group hails from Northern Florida. 
or (850) 386-4268

ANNWN: Come Away to the Hills - "The Red Queen", "Down Among the Dead Men". Out of print, so if you find this album, snap it up. "The Red Queen" (honoring Anne Bonny) is one of the best damn non-traditional pirate songs I've heard. It's the only pirate song on the album though. Most of the other songs on this album are traditional Renaissance era ballads and folk songs (I love their version of Matty Groves).  "The Red Queen" music and lyrics are also available in the NQG Pirate Song Book.  Sadly, Leigh Ann Hussey, Annwn member, and author of "The Red Queen", recently went out in a flame of glory.  We raise a glass of rum to you lass.  (Mallory & McCall, below, included "The Red Queen" in their new pirate album.)

BEN GUNN:  The Ben Gunn Society (several songs reflecting the experience of Ben Gunn stranded on Treasure Island) and Sovereignty (the further adventures of Ben Gunn no longer stranded on his island).  Original compositions, sung with a Russian accent.  A very different experience.

BILGE PUMPS: If you get a chance -- watch these guys in person -- they are hilarious. Listen to MP3s on their website.  They have a new (fourth) album out, Broadside Buddies (we have yet to preview it).  We highly recommend their second and third albums. The songs on their second album Greatest Hits Vol. VIII are mostly shanties, but done in a pyratical style. I especially love their version of "Spanish Ladies" -- rewritten from a piratical point of view.   Even better yet is their third album Brigands with Big'Uns.  They have a rollickin' version/medley of "The Old Dun Cow" (and other songs) on it (though I recommend you hear the song straight first, perhaps the Pyrate's Royale's version, so you can appreciate the humour in this version). Their first album We Don't Know and fourth album Broadside Buddies are a little rough -- we don't really recommend them, unless you get the 2nd and 3rd first, become a die-hard "Bilge Pumps" fan, and just want a complete set.  There is also a DVD available through their website, showing the lads in live performances.  Based in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, but have been found in far flung waters.

BLACKBEARD'S CREW: A reenactment group based out of Hampton, VA, Heave To is is their 1st CD:  mostly traditional shanties, most piratey "Teach's Hole" (adaptation from Congo River), and "Drunken Sailor".  Crackin' Jenny's Teacup is the bawdy collection, including "Down Among the Deadmen", "Pyrate Pete's Rum", "Blow the Man Down", "This Little Jiggy", "Chastity Belt", "The Lusty Young Smith", "Three Jolly Coachmen", "The Coachman's Whip", "Maid of Hamptontowne", "Sweet Richard", "A Wench's Tale", and "Cuckoo's Nest". 
For info on CDs: 

BOUNDING MAIN:  Bounding Main is a costumed vocal group that sings richly harmonic versions of traditional maritime songs. Each of their members is a music and theater veteran, with diverse performance backgrounds., have three CDs, Maiden Voyage, Lost at Sea and Going Overboard available for sale. They have performed in concert, at music festivals, nautical festivals, major tall ships events, maritime museums, renaissance faires, folk music venues, corporate events, house concerts and private gatherings. Based out of Chicago and Milwaukee, but travel afar.  updated 4/21/09

THE BRIGANDS: 631 434 7091
A musical group of three, portraying pirate songs music and shanteys from the Golden Age of Piracy (1650-1750). Their home port is in New York City, but they travel to many ports o’call.  They take great pride in the historical accuracy of the music they present! See them at the Hamptons Blackbeard Festival in June and the Conn Renne Faire in Sept and Oct of ’06, as well as other venues. 
Bloody Seamen
- Their first CD (We had not yet heard their music, so can make no recommendation).

BRINE & BASTARDS: Folk, punk, country.  Sample music at website.   

CAPTAIN BLOOD:  Erich Korngold.  Soundtrack recording of 1935 movie (released 2000). Reviews say this soundtrack release is bad quality.

CAPTAIN BOGG & SALTY Bedtime stories for Pirates (1999) - good collection of songs strung together with a storyline for youngun's and adults.  Great artwork on the cover. Pegleg Tango (2005) - also good for youngun's and adults, but with more gist for the grownups, and several musical parodies of 50s and 60s style music.  More great artwork. (Received a Parent's Choice Award). Prelude to Mutiny (2006) - would rate this one more PG 13, an Elvis parody on one song, with dips into heavy metal and rap on others. Mostly original material, with a good knowledge of pirate culture, literature, and history, with a few nods to Disney. New album is Emphatical Piratical (2009) - we've not yet heard this album yet, but they claim it is good for all ages.
Buy CDs and listen to samples on their website.: Kevin Hendrickson PO Box 12264, Portland OR 97212

THE CAPTAIN & HIS BUCCANEER OARKESTRA - A Man Overboard - Pirate Rock CD. "Bottle of Rum", "Whale of a Tale" "Fifteen Men", "Walk the Plank", and other tunes of nautical and cinematical origins. To order the CD, send:
$15 to: John G. Kays
301 E. 4th Street # 323
Austin, Texas 78701

THE CORSAIRS -  Send $15 plus $ 3 s/h to The Corsairs, PO Box 112513, Carrollton, TX 75011-2513. 
These lads record mostly shanties in a rowdy style (though The Green One has a hidden track of singing Amazing Grace to dozens of other tunes -- hilarious).  For piratical content, I recommend The Blue One album over the others, especially for the original pieces. I recommend The Red One least -- it was their first and isn't quite up to par with the others, but if you get the others and really like them, then this one isn't bad -- just not as good -- so you might get it. They currently have seven albums out.  I'll mention some of the more piratical songs from each:
The Red One - Their first album.  "Barrett's Privateers", more shanties
The Black One - "Drunken Sailor", ""Life of a Sailor" (original), "Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum", more
The Blue One - original compositions "Pirate's Life", "No Purchase, No Pay", plus traditional "Golden Vanity",
The Green One - "Sailor's Prayer", "King of the Cannibal Islands", "Blow the Man Down", more shanties
The White One "Pass the Bottle Round" (original composition), less shantey, more folk songs
The Gold One - (some old favorites, & some new ones) "Yo Ho Ho & a Bottle of Rum"
Songs from the Road - the latest album (haven't yet heard this collection)

CRAZY CAT GEORGE: 2609 Manning, 1996 - "Tender Young Men". This song is a wonderful story, though done in a modern style, relating the adventures of some wild, pirate women. Only pirate song on the CD. Can be purchased from Crazy Cat George, PO Box 480471, Los Angeles, CA , 90048 (213) 951-7069.

CRIMSON PIRATE:  SWASHBUCKLERS OF THE SILVER SCREEN:  Soundtrack (1997).  Out of print, so look for used CD copies.  Themes from Captain Blood, Hook, Crimson Pirate, Sinbad, Cutthroat Island, Crimson Permanent Assurace (Monty Python), and more.

THE CRIMSON PIRATESc/o Dan O'Driscoll, 350 West 51st Street, #3A, New York, N.Y. 10019.  This splendid crew of men and women are harmonious, raucous, rowdy, and a lot of fun to watch and listen to.  They currently have four albums.  The Crimson Pirates (highlights include "Drunken Sailor", "Old Maui" and "Charlie Mopps"), Your Day in the Barrel (including the hilarious title song, the best rendition I've heard of "Captain Jack and the Mermaid", the beautiful "Red is the Rose", "Squid Jiggin Ground", and more), Putrid and Disgusting (includes , the haunting "Dark Lady", "Chicken on a Raft", the original and hilarious title song, and more).  Fourth album is That's So Sad.  Their fifth and newest album is Come and Be a Pirate.

CUTTHROAT ISLAND: Soundtrack (1995 Film).  

DAVID GROSSMAN: Graffitti - "Bartholomew Roberts", a great song based on the historical pirate is available on CD - see the website.  Music and lyrics also available in the NQG Pirate Song Book.

DISNEY: various recordings available
Peter Pan
- "A Pirate's Life is a Wonderful Life"
Pirates of the Caribbean (the ride) 
- "Yo, Ho, Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)"

EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER: Works, Volume 1 - "Pirates"

THE FALCON'S PRESS GANG:  A Night Out on the Shore - mostly shanty tunes by the re-enacted crew and press gang of the HMS Falcon, a 14-gun British Sloop-of War that roamed the coast of North America from Boston to Antigua from 1775 to 1779.  Songs include:  "Haul Away Joe", "All for me Grog", "Drunken Sailor", "Old Dune Cow", "Rollin' Down to Maui", and more.

GILBERT & SULLIVAN: Pirates of Penzance - "Oh, better far to live & die" (aka "The Pirate King")

HEATHER ALEXANDERArms of the Sea - mix of original songs, including the title selection and the gem "Churn Dow Columbia", and traditional.  Nothing truly piratical, but very evocative of the nautical world.  Sea Fire Productions, Inc. PO Box 777 Banks, OR 97106, ph: 503.789.2639, email: ,  booking: 

HOOK:  by John Williams, original motion picture soundtrack (1991)

Pirates Gold, -
"All for me Grog", "The Derelict", "The Devil's Son", "Haul Away Joe", "The Pirate Ward", "L'Ollonois" 
Loose Cannons - There's a couple of new original songs on "Loose Cannons" -- "Dread" -- about Bartholomew Roberrts, and "A Port in Every Girl" --hilarious -- alone this is worth the price of the CD - which is actually a double CD -- so you get LOTS of music.  Also "Captain Kidd", "Bonnie Pirate Laddie", "The Smuggler", "All for Me Grog", and many other shanties, pub songs, etc.
X Marks the Spot - all wonderful original compositions, several of them about pirates.  "The Ship Stuck in Port", "Brotherhood of the Coast", "Numbers", "Captain Thompson", "The Warning", "Thirty Men", and other drinking songs and such.
Jolly Rogers, P.O. Box 2562, Kansas City, MO 64142.
"The Devil's Son", and "L'Ollonois" 
music and lyrics are also available in the NQG Pirate Song Book.

KAPT. KULA'S PYRAT PARTY BAND: All manner of tunes in the key of sea from 300 year-old sea shanties through Calypso and Hawaiian music to Jimmy Buffet. Based out of Long Beach, CA. E-mail the Kapt. at:  OR CALL: (562) 438-8514


MANTANZAS MARAUDERS:  Based out of Fort Myers Beach, Florida. No CD yet.  To get in touch with the Marauders call Cannibal Chrispy at your own risk at 239-849-3717

MAROONED:  Their first album, uniquely entitled Marooned, features mostly faire and tavern tunes, with a few shanties ("Haul Away Joe" and "Rolling Down to Maui") by this a capella group.  On their 2nd album, Better Than Live, the more piratical and nautical selections include:  "Hoist the Colours" (from PotC: At World's End), "South Australia", "Spanish Ladies", "Watches" (by Tom Lewis), "The Derelict", "Man o' War", "Barrett's Privateers", and the "Dutchman" (original tune).  MySpace page.

MISTER MAC THE PIRATE:  MISTER MAC THE PIRATE Songs of the Scallywag - good music for pirate kids. All original music, except "The Good Ship Lollipop". Cap'n Michael and Jamaica Rose really like his song "Blood and Gold".

MORGAN RATTLER:  Ron Geering and Barbara Blair, 246 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth, MA 02540, 508-457-0841, Pyratical musiques for nefarious occasions.  They play hurdy-gurdy, concertina, fiddle, recorders and whistles, and can appear in Pyrate rigg, or 18th century attire (formal or informal).

MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND:  Soundtrack - "Shiver Me Timbers" and "Professional Pirate" are great pirate songs.

NEW PROVIDENCE:  New Providence is a band of pseudo-pirates who perform throughout Southern California at Renaissance Festivals, Pirate Faires, Maritime Events, Museums and private parties. Their first CD is Pirates of New Providence: Down Among the Dead Men. Contact Barracuda d’Morte at PO Box 1021, Burbank, CA 91507 (818-802-0446).  Buy their CD at: 

PIRATE JENNY: Never-Sea Land , and Once Upon a Wave - Pirate Jenny is a four-piece Portland Oregon band specializing in original rock & roll sea chanties. -- The entire album Never-Sea Land is filled with original songs about pirates, but done in a rock and roll style. I like them, except for the production quality makes some of the lyrics hard to understand. Once Upon a Wave is not so accessible - sort of for those who are real groupies, and understand where the group is coming from.
P.O. Box 12264 Portland, Oregon 97212
"Sensitive Pirates No Mores" and "A Pirate's Life is Peaceful..." music and lyrics are also available in the NQG Pirate Song Book.

PIRATES FOR THE PRESERVATION OF NEW ORLEANS MUSIC:  A 4-CD release Lafitte's Return features a who's who of the top names in pirate music, who volunteered their music for this project.  Proceeds benefit the New Orleans school music programs.  PPNOM is dedicated to replacing the musical instrument s destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN:  CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL - Soundtrack from the 2003 Disney movie.  No songs -- just great background music.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN:  DEAD MAN'S CHEST - Soundtrack from the 2006 Disney movie.  No songs -- just great background music.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN:  AT WORLD'S END - Soundtrack from the 2006 Disney movie.  No songs -- just great background music.

PIRATES OF PENZANCE:  Gilbert and Sullivan.  Various recordings.  "Oh, Better Far to Live and Die" (aka "The Pirate King").

PIRATES R US: Funky Bellingham, Washington pirate band with influences from baroque, punk, folk, country, polka, and klezmer.  Listen to some samples on the website.  More at My Space.  Songs of Modern Piracy CD now available.  Email for info: 

POG MO THON (which is Irish for Kiss Me Arse). Musical Irish Pirates who've taken over Omaha, NE with tradtional Irish transvestite pirate humor..

12225 Bradbury Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Hello, Sailor
- "Fireship", "Blow the Man Down", "Maid on the Shore", "Down Among the Dead Men", "What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor", all broadcast from Pirate Radio in Tortuga.
Lyve Behind Bars
- shanties done in a pyratical style.  Great rendition of "The Old Dun Cow".
Love at First Night - "The Ballad of Old Redcoat" (pirate joke done as a song), "Swing the Cat", and more.
Tales of the Brigantine (2005) - the eerie original composition "The Brigantine", the unusual version of "Come Down you Roses/Blood Red Roses", the very rowdy "Rowdy Soul", the hilarious spoof "Simple Gits", and lots more.
Black Jack (2007) - 
Few of their songs are really pirate songs (though I consider "Maid on the Shore" a pirate song, since the crew kidnaps the girl, which seems like an act of pirates to me, but they are never called such), but they are often done in a pyratical, rowdy, comical style, with lots of background dialog. They are songs pirates would have enjoyed singing. 

ROGER MC GUINN: Cardiff Rose [Columbia] - "Jolly Roger" (also called "Cardiff Rose")

ROY METTE:  Pirates of the East Coast of the Americas and the Caribbean Sea', 14 original tracks of music and song relating to mostly historical pirates, including Bartholomew Roberts, Anne Bonny, Kidd, Rackham, Black Beard, Israel Hands, Lafitte, Vane and others.  Also an interesting recitation of the ship's articles.

RUSTY CUTLASS:  Chad Bennett  A traditional pirate band invading ports along the coast of Florida and beyond. Their first recording, "Maiden Voyage" was released in June 2006, and is available for purchase on their website. Samples are also available there and on their MySpace page,  
"We are all full-time professional performers, so when we invade the stage you can expect lots of entertainment, harmony, and good times. We perform authentic Sea Shanties, Pirate songs, Traditional Irish tunes, Tavern songs, Contemporary Nautical favorites and more, most with close vocal harmonies. Occasionally, we feature guest singers and instrumentalists as well. Our show can be tailored to fit your needs, be they a rousing family show, street atmosphere, naughty comedy act, or a bawdy tavern revue. We each play traditional instruments, including the concertina, guitar, mandolin, and upright double bass. We also play a variety of percussion, and some shows include a Drum Jam where audience members are encouraged to choose from our collection of 'Drums from Around the World.' Other shows include a "Swearin' In" for the little pirates, with lots of free booty for the kids to take home."

SALT SEA PIRATES:   Grog n' Gunpowder Mostly traditional shanties as done by traditional sailor types but with more depth and color; "We'll Rant & We'll Roar", "Fifteen Men on a Deadman's Chest", "Waitin' For the Day", "wale ofa Tale", "Larry Marr", "Charlie Mops", "Row Bullies Row", and more.  Buy CDs through the website.  See NQG review.  Song clips also at

SEADOGS:  1st CD:  "Maiden Voyage" (being re-pressed), 2nd CD:"The Paddy West School of Seamanship"
$14.00 plus shipping. Sea songs, shanties and maritime music. The Seadogs now perform at a wide variety of events throughout the year and are in high demand. Their venues range from Renaissance & Dickensian Festivals, to Yacht Clubs & Radio promotions, to pirate shows and Winery events, from Local Fairs to Tall Ships Festivals. They have been credited as "The World's Largest Nautical-Themed Band" (once topping out at a group roster of 55 members) and only time will tell where they'll turn up next.   

SEAHAWK:  Erich Korngold.  1987 Studio Recording of film-score from the 1940 movie "Sea Hawk" with Errol Flynn.  While not absolutely complete with all the incidental music from the movie, but it is the best available.

THE SEA HAWK:  THE CLASSIC FILM SCORES OF ERICH KORNGOLD:  Soundtrack (1991)  Overture and couple other excerpts from "Sea Hawk", "Sea Wolf", and other Korngold movies (others are not swashbucklers or adventure movies though).  Out of print -- look for used copies.]

SKELETON CREW PIRATE BAND aka MALLORY & McCALL: P.O. Box 191084, Los Angeles, California 90019, 323-733-7241. Their new Kings of the Sea CD includes quite a shipload of piratical musical fare: "The Red Queen" (to celebrate Leigh Ann Hussey - see Annwn above), "The Derelict - 15 Men on the Dead Man's Chest" (new piratical melody), "Kings of the Sea" (dedicated to No Quarter Given),  "Bold Fighting Pirates" ( adaptation of "Spanish Ladies"), "William Kidd" , "Pirate King" (from Penzance), "Dirty Ol' Bird", "The Fireship", "Pirate Love Song", "Down Among the Dead Men", and "Asleep in the Pirate's Deep".

SKIP HENDERSON: Billy Bones and other Ditties - The original composition "Billy Bones" (this song alone is worth buying the CD -- it's great -- done in an old fashioned style), plus somewhat traditional "Fifteen Men" (the tune is a little different but I really like it) and other nautical tunes. About half songs and half instrumentals (during one instrumental, Two Hornpipes, you can hear a brawl breaking out in the tavern - really funny -- this was used in the tavern scene in Pirates of the Caribbean:  Dead Man's Chest and can be heard on the soundtrack for the movie).  The Poet and Pirate Overtures - lots more piratical offerings, including a sequel to "Billy Bones"."The Return of Billy Bones".  Another pirate great is "Blood And Gold Makes Roses Grow".  Several songs set to poems by Rudyard Kipling and Masefield.
Wm. Bones c/o Canyon Studios, PO Box 13, Canyon, CA 94516
"Billy Bones" music and lyrics are also available in the NQG Pirate Song Book.

SONS OF THE BUCCANEERS:   Illigitimae Non Carborundum (Translation: Don't Let The Bastards Grind You Down) is a great album for pirate, nautical and tavern songs. Featured are a classic version of “Bottle of Rum”, Skip Henderson's perfectly piratical “Billy Bones”, and “Bartholomew Roberts”, the dramatically sung story of the most successful pirate on the Atlantic ('You'd never guess he was a pirate'). The Son's of the Buccaneers are Mordecai (vocals, 12 string, melodeon), Jim Nelson (vocals, banjo), Alan Lochhead (vocals, concertina, string bass), and Ruup (pennywhistle).
    The Sons of the Buccaneers are definitely available for hire. We specialize in seafarin' giggin', friggin' in the riggin', keelhauling, plank-walking plunder parties and burials at sea. Our motto: We give good booty.

STAN ROGERS: Fogarty's Cove [1977, Fogarty's Cove Music] - "Barrett's Privateers" (original composition), "Maid on the Shore"

THERE BE PIRATES:  Great pirate party music.  Drink and the Devil [2008], and Pirates in the Desert (2009). The group is located in the Joshua Tree area of Southern California.

TONY IRVINE: Outward Bound - "For God, King & Country", "A Pirates Night Before Christmas", plus more traditional nautical tunes.. CD's are $15 ea s/h included, to: Tony Irvine, 3267 Old Bridgeport Way, San Diego, CA 92111. Email: 
Both songs listed are available in the NQG Pirate Song Book.

TOUCAN PIRATES:  While there are no songs on this album, thus no pirate songs, this music could be the soundtrack for a pirate voyage.  Traditional Irish music, steel drums, shanties, ocean voyage sound effects, and battle sounds are wrapped up in Battle Songs of the Toucan Pirates, Sea Changes of the Toucan Pirates, and Buried Treasure of the Toucan Pirates.

VALPARAISO MEN'S CHORUS, FEATURING THE TINMEN:  No-holds barred shanties done in a bawdy, boozy Bourbon Street New Orleans style (complete with tuba, trombone and other brass, and a chorus of drunken pirates):  "Drunken Sailor", "Blow the Man Down", "All for Me Grog", "Serafina", "So Early in the Morning", "The New York Girls", "Spanish Ladies".

THE WHISKEY BARDS: Newest album is: Bottoms Up -- Bawdy, risqué fun, however the only traditional seafaring song is "Maid of Amsterdam".  Other songs (traditional and a few original compositions) are mostly about drinking and wenching (things most pirates can relate to). The Recruiter...Free Rum Ain't Free! -- all selections on this wonderful album are piratical and/or nautical (some traditional, some original compositions).  Highlights include the title song, "Devilish Mary", "Henry Martin", "Drunken Billy", "The Derelict", "Pirate Lullabye", "Life of a Privateer", and more. We highly recommend this album. Their previous album, Women, Whiskey & War! consists of mostly tavern and faire songs, but does include "The Drunken Sailor".  whiskybards@yahoo.com4gy          


Pirate Songs and Shanties on the Cyber Seas

(with printed lyrics and/or audio files)

CANTARIA: Collection of folk songs, including some nautical songs.

THE FOLK DEN: Website produced by Roger McGuinn - many nautical songs

MUDCAT CAFE/Digital Folk Tradition: Folk songs, numerous sea songs and shanties.


ROYAL CHESSMEN - SONG ARCHIVES: Faire songs - drinking songs, some nautical songs.


SHANTIES AND SEA SONGS:   Vast collection of maritime songs. 

SONGS OF THE SEA: Lyrics, and audio, plus often some background information about the song.


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