Black William

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About Black William

  • Rank
    Bilge Rat
  • Birthday 03/25/1958

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Davenport, California
  • Interests
    Playing guitar and bones, and anything else I can make noise with, including me own voice; writing and singing pirate songs; rum, ale, and a good tavern
  1. The Emerald

    The Emerald Rich be the mines in the Realm of New Spain None richer than those of the Andes Of silver and gold, the riches are told And emeralds green, a sight to behold Riches to tempt a pirate so bold So listen, me hearties, as me tale unfolds Listen and I’ll spin it for you We set sale from Jamaica one fine summer day Riding the tide that flowed from the bay Fair were the skies, our spirits were high We knew to a man that plunder was nigh Fabulous riches piled to the sky So in our folly we set our hopes high Vowing to sack Cartagena Cartagena won’t fall to our little ship It would take a large fleet and an army But our ship it was fast so their ships we harassed And a moderate sum of gold we amassed Annoying the Spaniards until at last They sent out a warship with orders to blast Our beloved little ship from the ocean Fate was against us for that very day A squall had blown our rigging astray So when we heard the cry that a warship was nigh Unable to fight them, unable to fly We gave up all hope, unwilling to try And we went straight to the rum to drink ‘fore we die For the cruelty of Spaniards is legend The battle was swift if battle it was For we offered their ship no resistance Still they peppered our sides and they set us alight The roar of their cannon still gives me a fright They laughed at the show of our brave English might And put into chains those still left alive And burned our ship down to the ocean Cold be the bands of iron that bound me To the floor of me cold stone prison When in walked a guard, his smile too wide And he bid me to rise and he laughed as I tried And kicked me again on me back and me side As I cowered in vain there was nowhere to hide And I felt consciousness slip from me Dull be the ache that awoke in me head But sharpe be the mind behind it A Spaniard has pride worth far more than his hide So I poked and I prodded, I pushed and I pried His good name I slandered, his family defiled Till finally he broke and he pulled me aside And murderous words he spoke to me “Never in God’s blessed realm have I seen A scoundrel more low than a pirate. I’ll bless our fair land with your blood in the sand That honor I’ll take with my very own hand” And freeing my bonds, he bid me to stand To see if an Englishman died like a man Or squealed like a pig at the slaughter Sharpe be the knife that he dragged cross me throat But slow was the hand that wielded it His eyes opened wide as I pushed it aside And I wrestled it from him, then opened him wide His blood was just blood for all of his pride But I’ll give that he fought like a man ‘fore he died For all of the good it did for him As I rolled him aside, his clothes I did take And I assessed me new situation Free from my cell and armed as well But still in a dungeon and feeling like hell And likely the noise rang clear like a bell How long till they found me I just couldn’t tell But I wasn’t about to wait for them The only way out of a dungeon is up And I climbed the stone stairway to freedom A guard I dispatched as he slept at his nap I opened all locks with a clang and a clap Freed all the prisoners, scattered the rats These poor sorry souls were the bait for me trap And I hid near the top of the stairway A dungeon set free makes a monstrous din I waited for all the Lord’s guards to come in They all rushed inside, the door hanging wide I slipped out unnoticed with purposeful stride Dressed like a guard it was best not to hide So I walked to the chapel, me sins to confide For the brothers were known to be wealthy “Father, Oh Father, forgive what I’ve done And don’t go away for there are sins yet to come Your gold I will take and I’ll make my escape You’ll fetch a fine ransom, my life I will stake You’ll get me to freedom or yours I will take For a brother of Christ a poor hero makes” When in walked a fair senorita She was dressed in fine silks with pearls in her hair The lord of the castle’s own daughter The lady walked in to confess her own sins I’d have liked to been privy to those, my friends But that’s not the direction this tale will spin For with such a fine hostage the gate I could win So I gallantly greeted the senorita I calmly explained that I’d do her no harm If she’d come without making a nuisance I gathered up gold till I could carry no more And with Father and Lady I strode through the door Though I truly would rather have been home with a whore It seems my fortunes weren’t looking so poor When up walked her knightly young brother “Sister, oh Sister, don’t go over there For the prisoners have all gotten free from their cells Though I see you’ve a guard, I beg you, beware They’re fighting with guards and they seem not to care And here you’re out walking with pearls in your hair!” To my surprise, she gave him a stare And she said “Little brother, you bore me” “I’m a Lady full grown and can mind my own ways Without any need of your posturing So run to our mother and tell her I’m fine With appropriate escort, spending my time I’m off to the cellars to bring up some wine So mind your own business and I will mind mine” With a wave of her hand she dismissed him “Follow me quick”, the lady, she cried I’ll lead you down though the cellars There’s a well-hidden way few know of these days It leads under the walls, my uncle did say It was built against pirates, a quick get away I found it once hiding, a game I would play When I needed some peace from my brother The good Father’s protests died on his lips As he felt the point of me dagger I held them both tight as we continued our flight From the world of the light to perpetual night She knew the route well, for though deprived of all sight We soon found ourselves staring into a light Coming from the other side of a doorway From the side of a cliff the door opened out Near a tiny dock in the harbor “Now that you’re free, you must fly!” cried she But I fear that you won’t get a ransom for me I must stay behind, but you, you must flee” But before I left, I asked favors three And these are the gifts that she gave me I asked for a kiss, placed sweet on my lips For a lusty old pirate I still be “And the pearls that you wear tied up in your hair You need them not, your beauty’s so rare” She gave these to me, not seeming to care As she let down her hair, I tried not to stare Though a lusty old pirate I still be “You still need to ask one more favor, the last What else would you have of me? I’ve helped you escape from a perilous fate I’ve brought you to freedom, I’ve showed you the gate If my family found out, they surely would hate me For aiding a pirate they’re sure to berate me So ask me this final request” “Why?” says I, “Why? I want to know why Tell me why have you aided your captor There surely were times that you could have escaped Or alerted your brother to your captive state In the dark of the cellar I’d ne’er found me way Right true you did lead us, but why I can’t say And I fear that I don’t understand you” ‘Twas then that she gave me my third parting gift A mysterious womanly smile And she pulled from her bodice an emerald green A more priceless gem I never have seen “Tis but a token of my good esteem” Though how that I earned it, I never could glean For she disappeared back through the doorway The Father and I stole a boat from the dock And we made our way back to Jamaica The good Father’s taken a liking to rum And found that a pirate’s life is far more fun Than kneeling and praying about what’s to come Or hearing repentance for what has been done So much for the good Father’s ransom And now my story has come to an end Though many of you swabs won’t believe it The gold and the pearls were spent long ago And just like a pirate I’ve nothing to show But a tale to tell to the likes of you all And a yearning to sail to Cartagena once more To find the lost gate to the castle By Robert Peters 03/12/2010
  2. Barbancourt vs. Matusalem

    My compliments to you all. It has been a while since I have tasted The Mount Gay and must reacquaint myself. I've yet to try the Ron Zacapa Centenario. It is spoken quite highly of, but I also hear it is a bit sweet and tastes of bananas.... Matusalem in hand, I must say that the rum that passes the lips is far better than tat on the distributers shelves.........
  3. Barbancourt vs. Matusalem

    The Barbancourt distillery suffered some serious damage following the Haitian earthquake. From Trade News Online (sorry, I don't have the link but you google it...) "Rhum Barbancourt’s Port-au-Prince distillery will not resume production for at least a month following significant damage sustained during the Haitian capital’s recent earthquake. One of the facility’s exterior walls fell, and barrels of aging rum were destroyed along with equipment inside the plant. Two of Rhum Barbancourt’s employees died in the quake, while around one-fifth of its staff of 430 lost their homes, the distiller said. Immediate supply disruption of Rhum Barbancourt in the U.S. will likely be lessened by the fact that the producer shipped stock the day before the earthquake, but when precisely the distillery will again be up and running is uncertain. The company recently formed a long-term distribution pact with Crillon Importers, making the New Jersey-based importer Barbancourt’s exclusive North American distributor." Get yourself a bottle soon and wish them a quick recovery.
  4. Barbancourt vs. Matusalem Last weekend I finally was able to find a bottle of Barbancourt rhum from Haiti. I’ve always wanted to try this rum and have heard great things about it. My usual favorite is Matusalem Gran Reserve rum from the Dominican Republic, around the other side of Hispaniola. I was interested in comparing the two. I was on my way to visit my friends Mary and Roger for the weekend and, needless to say, the bottle of rum was brought out Saturday night. I was playing my pirate songs for Mary, my old mentor in tunes from the Emerald Isle. Well, we had a rum first, and Mary topped off my glass between songs, refilling hers almost as often, and occasionally Roger’s (Roger, ye best fill your own rum if ye wants your fair share!). Well, of course, the bottle did not last the night, as should be. But when I went to buy another bottle of rum, they were out of Barbancourt, the scum! So now I have to do the comparison by foggy memory alone. So as not to influence the results, this comparison is being done over a Goslings Black Seal. Both of these rums are “sipping” rums. Comparison is based on both rums being drunk neat. Points only awarded if one rum has a clear advantage over the other. A couple of things you can note on the bottles: Barbancourt is 8 years old, the Matusalem uses a 15 year Solera method. Barbancourt is a sugar cane rum. Matusalem doesn’t say, so I assume it is made from molasses. Both are 80 proof. Matusalem has a cork stopper, the Barbancourt a twist-off. Barbancourt also makes a 15 year old rum and perhaps this would be better for the comparison, but I can't find this locally yet. 1. color - both the Barbancourt and Matusalem are a medium brown. Perhaps the Barbancourt is a bit darker, but I would need both in front of me for a more accurate comparison. 2. smoothness – At the first taste I remember thinking that the Matusalem was smoother than the Barbancourt. By the end of the bottle I remember thinking that the Barbancourt was very smooth. Still, a point for Matusalem. 3. taste – This is where I really need both rums side by side to compare. Both have a bit of sweetness without being cloying. Matusalem has a very clean taste. Barbancourt may have a stronger flavor, but both are medium bodied. What I do remember is that both rums had strong clear and unmistakable rum flavor. Duh! you may say, but so many rums today try to mask the rum flavor with other flavors: Pyrate tastes of orange, Zaya tastes of vanilla and toffee, or some other candy. Not necessarily bad per se, but I like the taste of rum and want my rum to taste like rum! (The Goslings tastes like rum!) 4. bite – Both rums had a good bite. You knew there was alcohol in it. 5. effect – yep, both are alcoholic beverages and both produce the desired effects. True comparison may require an outside observer. Wait, we had some! May’s kids mentioned “Mom, you sure were drunk last night!” Don’t have an equivalent for the Matusalem, but still, point for Barbancourt. Mary liked my pirate songs while drinking the Barbancourt. Still don’t have an equivalent for the Matusalem, but clearly at least another point for the Barbancourt! 6. Hangover: I felt great Sunday morning! No hangover whatsoever. Neither Mary nor Roger showed or mentioned any ill effects from the night’s debauchery. However, I’ve never had a Matusalem hangover, either. We’ll call this one even. 7. Price – $26.99 for Barbancourt, $28.99 for the Matusalem, ($32.99 at the store I got the Barbacourt at) clear advantage to the Barbancourt. Point! 8. Availability – The nearest liquor store is 45 minutes away so I gotta keep my stock on hand. The Matusalem is carried by our locally-owned liquor store, nice folks. Barbancourt is only available in our area at a big chain store – Point for the Matusalem. Unless I am already on that side of town, getting to the chain store requires another 30 minutes of driving in traffic to get there and another 30 minutes back. Price of gas makes up for the price difference, and time is priceless. Another point for the Matusalem. Well, adding up the points, I have 3 for Matusalem, 3 for Barbancourt. If I am already on the far side of town, I will go for a bottle of the Barbancourt, since I can’t get it as easily. Note that I evaluated smoothness without a side-by-side comparison…not really fair….. and I bet Mary would have gotten drunk on either. Both are clearly fine rums! The biggest differences are price versus availability. I hate draws and will have to do the test one more time. I look forward to re-evaluating them side-by side. Black William
  5. Sea shanties of the early 1700s?

    Thanks for posting the link. There are some interesting ones in there, though I haven't tried playing any of them yet. I liked "A Hot EngagementBetweenA French Privateer, and an English Fire-Ship" about a ship being pressed by a French privateer - from the point of view of the ship! Black William
  6. the food sailors ate

    Goats were first introduced onto Juan Fernandez Island in 1540 by Juan Fernandez, discoverer of the island, as a food source for future mariners. I believe it was a common practice at the time to introduce goats on islands as a future food source. Goats reproduce rapidly, particularly on islands with few predators, and can live on forage, not requiring the rich pastures required by cattle. Making cheese would be relatively easy, but as the cream does not separate from goats milk as it does in cows milk, making butter would be more difficult. Modern cream separators for goats milk use centrifugal force. I am not sure how or if they made butter from goats milk in 1704.
  7. Morgan's Raid

    I wish I had been there. Cameron's Inn is a fine establishment and close to me home port. I would have liked to have met the crew and listened the band. I'll keep an eye out for the next opportunity.