Call Me Ishmael; volume 3

by Patrick Shea

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about

Buy the book at: www.lulu.com/shop/patrick-shea/call-me-ishmael/paperback/product-20300323.html

In the summer of 2008, Brooklyn elementary school teacher and musician Patrick Shea set two goals for himself—to read Moby-Dick, and to write a song every day for two months. Those two goals quickly merged to become to beginning of the Call Me Ishmael project. Three years later, Shea had written, recorded, and blogged about all 135 chapters of Moby-Dick, plus the epilogue.

The book contains the lyrics to all 136 songs from the project, along with free downloads of all 8 volumes of music. The book also includes an introduction to the project as a whole, and an afterword for each volume of songs, written by the author.

Some responses to the project:

"Patrick Shea’s highly imaginative, wide-ranging song cycle takes us chapter-by-chapter through Moby-Dick. Shea’s innovative, haunting lyrics share the fecundity and suggestiveness of Melville’s dazzling novel."
--David Reynolds, Distinguished Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center

"There is music in Moby-Dick because Melville put it there. But there is another kind of music that comes from readers who, once they have read Moby-Dick, simply have to sing. Lucky, then, that we have Patrick Shea whose clever, amusing, stirring, happy, sad songs do not attempt to retell Melville's classic story but give added musicality and life to Melville's thought."
--John Bryant, Editor of the Melville Society and Professor of English at Hofstra University

"Patrick Shea’s songs are deeply insightful responses to Melville’s masterpiece. They illuminate the power of Moby-Dick and enrich our experience of that remarkable novel. Shea understands that, at its heart, Moby-Dick is an orchestral work. Its chords resonate throughout Shea’s lyrics."
--Bill Kelly, President of the CUNY Graduate Center

credits

released September 1, 2009

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about

Patrick Shea Brooklyn, New York

Patrick is a nerd, a book lover, a math afficianado, an Ishmael, and an Ahab. He lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters. He grew up in Portland, OR; and has also lived in Grinnell, IA (for college); and Austin, TX.

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Track Name: Wheelbarrow
Chapter 13: Wheelbarrow

Packing my bags with my best friend.
Walk down the street with my best friend.
People will stare at us always,
Sharing the load!

Don't be embarrassed,
Because we cherish
Mutuality.

Stare at the sea with my best friend.
Happy to be with my best friend.
Closing the gap there between us,
Building the road!

Don't be embarrassed.
Platonic marriage.
The world's a joint-stock company!
We help each other be.

People may laugh at my best friend,
Stab at the back of my best friend,
He never holds it against them;
He'll always help his fellows!

Don't be embarrassed.
Platonic marriage.
The world's a joint-stock company!
We help each other be!

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Gam
Chapter 53: The Gam

Whaling ships are having a good time
Roaming on the open sea!
Pirate ships are villainous rascals,
Locked in their castles
With no "good day" to me.

Merchant ships are spurious dandies,
Brushing off their brethren without a heed.
Slaving ships are running from something,
And ceremony mars
The meeting Men of War.

On the open sea,
Lend the courtesy,
As the whalers do with every passing of keels.
Oh, let's have a gam,
I'll extend my hand
To all sailors who share the jaunty rhythms of the sea.

Passing correspondence between us,
Pluck upon my tethers to home.
Tell us where the whales run the thickest,
Wherefore the riches
Surface from the foam.

On the open sea,
Lend the courtesy,
As the whalers do with every passing of keels.
Oh, let's have a gam,
I'll extend my hand
To all sailors who share the jaunty rhythms of the sea.

Whaling ships are having a good time
Roaming on the open sea!
Join us for a bit of a ramble,
And let the ocean handle
The grave philosophies.

On the open sea,
Lend the courtesy,
As the whalers do with every passing of keels.
Oh, let's have a gam,
I'll extend my hand
To all sailors who share the jaunty rhythms of the sea.

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: Brit
Chapter 58: Brit

The ocean's deeper than us,
No man protected from washing away.
Oh, scratch the surface but once
With a bold keel, and you will be changed.

And we all fall down,
All fall down,
In the two-toned world we create.
Yeah we all fall down,
Strangers in lonesome parade.

We look from surface to sky,
A truncated wave to rise and abate.
Count yet magnificent worlds,
A negative voltage constantly craved.

And we all fall down,
All fall down,
In the two-toned world we create.
Yeah we all fall down,
Strangers in lonesome parade.

Yeah we all fall down,
Strangers in lonesome parade!

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: Schools and Schoolmasters
Chapter 88: Schools and Schoolmasters

A man in need is lonely indeed
'Cause his friends don't ever stick around,
But girlfriends know, when trouble's at the door
You should never leave a good friend!
You should never leave a good friend!

Men will fight each other for the right
To defend a woman 'til the end.
They'll party right through each and every night
'Til a woman comes between them!
'Til a woman comes between them!

Oh, girls last forever!
Together 'til the end!
Girls last forever!
Everlasting friends!

Men like making babies in the night,
but they never want to nurse them.
They leave their girls alone to brush the curls --
Thank heavens for a girlfriend!
Thank heavens for a girlfriend!

Oh, girls last forever!
Together 'til the end!
Girls last forever!
Everlasting friends!

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Crotch
Chapter 63: The Crotch

Not foreshadowing,
I take my time with the details still,
To set the stage.

No complaining!
You need to live every moment of
A whaler's life.

Let's not sully
The great defiance
In every action
With mere description!

Let's prepare you
To construct
The moments as they come,
And I will step aside.

Now imagine
Two harpoons on a single line,
And tossed at sea.

The whale is struggling,
The loose harpoon flaps from side to side
With sharpened steel.

Now imagine
Every boat on a single whale
With loose harpoons.

You're gonna use it.
The image sifts back into your mind
Until the end.

Let's not sully
The great defiance
In every action
With mere description!

Let's prepare you
To construct
The moments as they come,
And I will step aside.

It's not the way
You're used to reading --
I'm aware of it.
Now let me step aside!

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: Moby Dick
Chapter 41: Moby Dick

Let's talk of the depths!
We're of the cavernous Earth --
We take in the rocky chasms
At the very moment of birth.

Under the heart
(In all a darkness),
An ancient and fragile king
As pillar, quivering.

As a whale under the ocean, no one knows
All to bear from private spaces.

Now spin me a yarn,
No simple matter of fact.
In facing the grandiose
We take a supernatural tact.

So as within,
Deep down below
An ancient and fragile king
As pillar, quivering.

As a whale under the ocean, no one knows
All to bear from private spaces.

In all the world
There is a weight of defeat
Breaching the placid surface
With an ubiquity.

So grand, indeed,
Call it the devil and plead,
Or muster the soul's harpoon
From madness.

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: A Bower in the Arsacides
Chapter 102: A Bower in the Arsacides

Turn, and turn, and turn,
The body's a temple!
Turn, and turn, and turn,
The body's a temple!

Everybody go to an island in the Arsacides!
In a hilltop glen, find the secrets of a function,
Long layered as the base,
Foundation of every dead and living race.
It's all in the body,
The memory of body.

Turn, and turn, and turn,
The body's a temple!
Turn, and turn, and turn,
The body's a temple!

Every man a life woven through the spaces of every death.
Frames of passage carved with a long-learned certainty.
A pean to the shoulders
We grow on, but not over.
A density, breathing.
Oh, oh.

How to measure life? Turn into the body,
Measure every rib, measure every quarry.
Every bit is made from a something made before.

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Cabin-Table
Chapter 34: The Cabin-Table

Dinner, Mr. Starbuck.
Dinner, Mr. Stubb.
Dinner, Mr. Flask.
Yeah!

Gather 'round the table,
One and then the next --
Children at the altar,
Blessed!

We must be polite
To the lord of our dinner time --
A social emperor in his throne!

He sets the tone --
We're everyday guests in Ahab's home.
Alas, I'll always be a butterless man!

Three bites of salt beef,
Stubb begins to stir --
Time for me to leave now,
Still hungry.

Farewell Flask,
Farewell Stubb,
Farewell Starbuck.
Doughboy set it up for our harpooneers.

Doughboy! Doughboy! Beef, Doughboy!

There once was a Doughboy, fat and tender,
He made a grave mistake!
He didn't feed his cannibals,
And his cannibals . . . ate him.

We must be polite
To the lord of our dinner time!
A social emperor in his throne.

He sets the tone --
We're everyday guests in Ahab's home.
Alas, I'll always be a butterless man!

Time for me to leave now,
Still hungry!

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: Merry Christmas
Chapter 22: Merry Christmas

Based on belief, it wouldn't be logical
Charging a man to tame the depths of all,
Much less a man so touched when on the battlements.

A bet the devil would make
In Old Testament days
With God, so celebrate
A Merry Christmas.

Sing to the sea, your words of milk and honey,
Warm through my heart to stand against the chill,
Pounding with strength still cresting from the darkest day.

A bet the devil would make
In Old Testament days
With God, so celebrate
A Merry Christmas.

Our pilots disembark,
Return to lee.
Three cheers for open water,
No traffic.

Based on belief, it wouldn't be logical.

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Street
Chapter 6: The Street

Freaks and dudes
Are finally intermingling!
Freaks and dudes
From agitating sea!
Shadows cast,
A flame in every window.
Pallid sheen
In the beacon of dreams.

Bloomed from the crags,
Terrific altarpiece of meticulous fiends.
Shade joining hands
With every gift of creation
From negotiable light.

How now,
A yet unrealized prerogative
Of nations
Professed to welcome the world!
How now,
A yet unrealized prerogative
Is here,
On the outpost of time.

Freaks and dudes
Together on the corner!
Freaks and dudes
Embracing one another!
From the rocks
A flower of gentility
Blooms beside
Every sibilant tide.

How now,
A yet unrealized prerogative
Of nations
Professed to welcome the world!
How now,
A yet unrealized prerogative
Is here,
On the outpost of time.

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Advocate
Chapter 24: The Advocate

Listen here, I've had enough of this shit,
Saying whaling is only for scoundrels (What?),
That it's a dirty (Huh?), filthy (Who?), job for the base (Uh-uh!),
That we're barbarian butchers at sea.

Tell me now of those soldiers you host
In the highest company (Uh, uh!).
They're the bloodiest butchers you'll ever meet
But they'd buckle at the sight of a fanning tail (Oooh!).

For what are the terrors of man,
Compared to the terrors of beasts?

Our whaling ships are at the edge of the world
Bringing peace and information (Uh-huh!).
We're diplomatic, democratic, and we spread it around;
We've liberated colonies!

They say that whaling's not respectable,
Although the English call whales "a royal fish."
But they insist (uh!), persist (uh!), they never let up (uh-uh!)
Saying there's no good blood in our veins! (Say what?)
They say there's no good blood in our veins! (Nuh-uh!)
They say there's no good blood in our veins!

(Haven't they heard of Benjamin Franklin,
Democratizer, father of nations?
His grandmother, a woman of whaling,
The matriarch sent her family a-sailing!)

I know . . . I know . . . I don't understand it.
Maybe they're just scared:

For what are the terrors of man,
Compared to the terrors of beasts?

We make the world light up!

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Pipe
Chapter 30: The Pipe

May smoke rise 'round the bends
Of crows feet and ascend,
To waft serenity
Over snowy mountains.

When breaths jerk nervously
In panic, not relief,
The death knell's rung in vain,
For where's the warning?

To thrones of ivory white
The counselor councils right
That naught's compulsory,
Just rule the moment.

Slipstreaming over pools of disaster --
All ending by and by, so lead the ending.

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Chapel
Chapter 7: The Chapel

So you say, when we pass away,
Our bodies go into the Earth
And never come to be
Another happy memory,
And our souls will live forever
In the mountains of the heavens,
Making memories.

And what a relief, choosing to grieve for death instead of absence.
You'll no longer share threads of a common tapestry,
But the story goes on.

It gave you pause, made you hesitate
To give the last permission,
For the moments in between,
Could change your course away from me,
And those moments last forever,
And you had them in the absence
Of my memory.

And what a relief, choosing to grieve for death instead of absence.
You'll no longer share threads of a common tapestry,
But the story goes on.

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Albatross (part 2)
Chapter 52: The Albatross (part 2)

When you leave your family behind,
You'll end where you started
Or die while you're trying.

The sea presents an abyss,
The mouth of a labyrinth,
The end of a tryst.

'Round the world will take me back to you.
'Round the world will take me back to you.

If the world spread out like a table,
Forever an eastward
Direction to take,

The wanderer would be able
To think of a better
World yet to come.

Don't you know your demons aren't at sea?
Demons are the circle that binds you.

The circle of our world is just a cage.
The circle of our chests is just a cage.

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Affidavit
Chapter 45: The Affidavit

I'll testify to the reverend's holy words:
All truth told here.
It's your choice to believe it,
Irrevocably.

I've seen it thrice -- embattled monsters torn
From dealing fateful blows,
Brought back after years gone by.
Death follows.

No simple brute -- a thoughtful, malicious eye
Turns back assault,
And stove in many leaders.
Irrevocably.

You will never be
Broken, lest irreverent
To powerful things
When you face them.

Haughty disbelievers knocked from donkeys
On the road to Damascus.
It's your choice to believe it.
Death follows.

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Pequod meets the Rachel
Chapter 128: The Pequod meets the Rachel

They died last night; they died last night,
Certainly.
They died last night; they died last night,
Certainly.

A pale unceasing cannonball
Struck from sheltered lee.
Carried by the cannonball,
Buried in the sea.

They died last night; they died last night,
Certainly.
They died last night; they died last night,
Certainly.

Listen as their spirits scream,
We heard them all last night.
Ghost ship sails for ghost beliefs,
Sweeping tack for any sight.

They died last night; they died last night,
Certainly.
They died last night; they died last night,
Certainly.

Abraham is unmoved,
Stable in the old roots,
Fathering a nation of
Hollow belief, and resolve.

Any circle broken
Makes the center shift and
Every spoke in kind will
Follow its lead, finding home.

Pack our Rachel up again,
Send her on her way.
An arrow loosed, we've joined the work
Three weeks from today!

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Albatross (part 1)
Chapter 52: The Albatross (part 1)

A clap of thunder,
A bolt of lightning,
The crash of two wakes as they cross in open sea --
It's foreshadowing
Death and destruction,
'Cause the boat we passed was an Albatross by name.

A bird of good omen
Shot by Ahab --
What an arrow be the name of Moby Dick!
The captain faltering,
The Albatross dumbstruck,
Now we're cursed to be the walking dead for sure.

Hasn't he read
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner?”
Doesn't he know
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner?”
Every good sailor knows you let the albatross be!

Somebody read
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
Out to the captain
(The Rime of the Ancient Mariner),
So we're all on the very same page while we're in the same boat.

Birds that scatter
As a portent,
Because of their supernatural sense of evil to come.
We had schools of fish
Scatter like birds --
Even Ahab noticed with sadness of our fate.

Hasn't he read
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner?”
Doesn't he know
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner?”
Every good sailor knows you let the albatross be!

Somebody read
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
Out to the captain
(The Rime of the Ancient Mariner),
So we're all on the very same page while we're in the same boat.

© and ℗ 2009 Patrick Shea