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Community => Miscellaneous => Topic started by: avisarr on September 15, 2005, 01:27:13 PM

Title: The Search for the Pirate Song
Post by: avisarr on September 15, 2005, 01:27:13 PM
The Search for the Pirate Song

If you go into the Khoras site and take a look at the "Tales" section, you'll find an entry under Poetry and Song which is entitled "The Pirate Song".

It's an unfinished song. I wrote all the verses except for the first one. And that's where our story begins. When I was about 17 years old or so, I saw a Garfield cartoon on television. During this cartoon, Garfield launches into a song..

"Sixty men all lost at sea, All of them drunk except for me
'Twas I who had to brave the storm With nothing in sight to keep me warm!
Yo HO Ho ho, over the raging sea we go!
Yo HO Ho ho, wherever the four winds blow! Hey!"


That's the only verse Garfield sang. It had a catchy tune that went with it. Now, for some odd reason, that verse and the tune stuck in my head. Many years later, I wrote down the verse (as a matter of fact, my memory was imperfect and I got a few of the words wrong, hence my version is a little different). I then proceeded to write more verses, to continue the song. I liked the tune so much and the way it started off with that powerful first verse, that I wanted to write a complete song based on it.

However, I didn't write the first verse. And copyright law is gonna bite me in the ass at some point. So, I contacted Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, a couple of years ago and asked him about it. I got no response. I sent several emails, no response.

Keep in mind that all of this was based on a fragment of a memory from almost 20 years ago. So, I decided to tackle this logically. I started searching the Internet to see if that verse came from a real pirate song. Garfield's version of the song is quoted in a couple of places. Usually in the signature of someone writing something in a Forum on a web site that has something to do with pirates. I think I found it on about a dozen web sites. But it seems that they all had just the first verse and they all got it from the Garfield cartoon as well.

My corrupt version of the song is also quoted at a couple of places on the net. In fact, one site actually quoted my entire version of the song, new verses and all, as if it was the real and original version! Which isn't really right, but oh well.

I have been thinking about that song a lot over the past couple of months because I like what I've written and I want to finish the song. However, there might be copyright infringement problems. Jim Davis never responded. So, I thought I'd tackle it from another direction. I searched on line for Garfield cartoons and found that there was a "Garfield Halloween Special". That had to be the one I figured. So I bought it on DVD. When it arrived in the mail, I popped it in the DVD player and lo and behold, there it was. Garfield sang the song. This is when I realized I had gotten a couple of the words wrong. Faulty memory and all. I looked in the credits and found the two people who had written the music and lyrics for the cartoon. It turns out that those two people are a husband and wife team who have been involved in the entertainment industry for quite a while and now have a small music publishing company that specializes in religious/inspirational music.

I'm a persistant bastard, so I fired off an email to THEM asking them all about the song. Who better to ask that the two people who actually WROTE the bloody thing. Now, they might not hold the copyright to it. But still, it would be nice to get their blessing first before I start mucking about with their original work.

The copyright is probably held by some faceless Hollywood megacorporation that will never answer any emails, but has an army of lawyers standing by ready to file lawsuits should any lowly webmaster deign to tread on their copyrighted material.

Well, the email was sent. Now I wait and see if the husband-wife music team respond with any interesting information about it. Hopefully they'll say "yes, WE hold the copyright and we give you our blessing to do anything you want with it". Wouldn't that be nice?

While we're on the topic, have any of YOU heard of that song? Is it possible that they were quoting an actual sea shanty from centuries ago or did they write it? If any of you have any information on that single verse of song, I would be most interested to hear about it.

Ok, that's all. I will update this topic if I hear anything about this. Don't know why I'm rambling on about this topic, but then again, this is the Khoras Forum and I'm in the mood to share. Plus, in this Miscellaneous Category, we can talk about ANYTHING. So, why not...

Plus, I'm hoping that I can eventually FINISH the Pirate Song (legally) and add that to the Khoras site. Hell, if I finish writing it, I might even get some actors together and have them SING it. And record it. And post that on the site. That'd be fun.

Title: Re: The Search for the Pirate Song
Post by: Kristian on September 15, 2005, 11:26:59 PM
Wow. You are persistant. I look forward to hearing more of this story.
Title: Re: The Search for the Pirate Song
Post by: avisarr on September 22, 2005, 02:00:22 PM
Well, it's been a week. No reply and no news. I've emailed Jim Davis. I've emailed the songwriters. Screw it. I'm going to go ahead and finish the song and only take it off the web site if some one actually complains or threatens legal action.  ;)
Title: Re: The Search for the Pirate Song
Post by: Kristian on September 23, 2005, 04:16:43 AM
Well, it's been a week. No reply and no news. I've emailed Jim Davis. I've emailed the songwriters. Screw it. I'm going to go ahead and finish the song and only take it off the web site if some one actually complains or threatens legal action.  ;)

That's the spirit!