Loose Gravel
Loose Gravel
Ken Streight, bass Mike Wilhelm, guitar, Rol Gjano, drums

Ahoy, Merry Yo Ho Ho Ho - The (Real) Pirate Song
Merry Christmas, 2008

The Derelict (Fifteen Men On A Dead Man’s Chest)
(Traditional/arranged Wilhelm) [Click to Listen] - NOTE: UPDATED VERSION

“This is the song sung by the pirates in Robert Louis Stevenson’s book, Treasure Island. A dead sailor’s sea chest was generally up for grabs hence a derelict vessel was known as a ‘dead man’s chest’.

“The San Francisco connection is that Stevenson was a resident of the city. In the 19th century, Pacific St. between Kearny St. and Montgomery St., known as ‘the Barbary Coast’, was the most lawless place in San Francisco. Hoodlums ruled. Sailors who patronized the bars and deadfalls often had chloral hydrate slipped into their drinks and woke up on a ship bound for Shanghai.” – Mike Wilhelm

From: Back on the Barbary Coast
Lead Vocal – Chris Wilson
Acoustic 12, back up vocal – Mike Wilhelm
Acoustic guitar, back up vocal – James Ferrell
Drums, back up vocal – Danny Mihm

The skipper lay with his head in gore,
The scullion’s axe his head had shore;
The scullion, he was stabbed times four
And there they lay and the soggy skies
Dripped down in their upstaring eyes;
In murk sunset and foul sunrise!
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!


Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest,
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the Devil had done for the rest,
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

‘Twas a cutlass swipe or an ounce of lead
Or a gaping hole in a battered head
And the scuppers glut of a rotting red
And there they lay, ah damn their eyes!
Looking up at Paradise,
Their souls just gone the contrawise!
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Repeat chorus

A flimsy girl on a bunker cot
With a dirk slit sheer through the bosom spot
And the lace stiff-dry in a purplish rot,
Oh, was she wench or was she jade
Or was she just a shuddering maid?
She dared the knife and took the blade!
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Repeat chorus

We wrapped ‘em all in a mainsail tight
With twice ten turns of a hawser’s bight
And we heaved ‘em over and out of sight
With a yo heave ho and a fare ye well,
A sullen plunge in a sullen swell,
Ten fathoms down on the road to Hell!
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Mike Wilhelm with Loose Gravel - Don't Flash Out (Keep Flashin' On) - 1977

Mike Wilhelm with Loose Gravel - Gravel Rash - 1977

Early Tavern Racing - Mike Wilhelm on Matchless
Early Tavern Racing - Mike Wilhelm on Matchless

Mike Wilhelm's Main Page

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