Call Me Ishmael; volume 4

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 January 1, 2010

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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: Heads or Tails
Chapter 90: Heads or Tails

Heads I win, and tails you lose,
I will take your whale if I so choose,
And if that peasant he should whine,
Papa king claims rights divine!

Heads I win, and tails you lose,
Cry to clergyman from weathered pews,
And if that clergyman should write,
Papa's got law on his side.

The king gets the head and the queen gets the tail
And there's naught in the middle in the whole of the whale.
Complain if you wish, and beg if you dare --
The king's law is always fair.

Heads I win, and tails you lose,
What a backward land when monarchs rule,
And I guess those peasants there resigned,
'Cause they don't demand what's thine!

The king gets the head and the queen gets the tail
And there's naught in the middle in the whole of the whale.
Complain if you wish, and beg if you dare --
The king's law is always fair.

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Pequod meets the Rose-bud
Chapter 91: The Pequod meets the Rose-bud

From the heart of the stench,
A rose-bud blooms,
A rose-bud blooms for the day.

The brilliant devise
A posture to prize
The moment's luck from dismay.

As adjoining streams
Join as one, kneeling
Through the banks of probable decay,
Cannot claim perfume
Into rotten wounds,
May your sweetness live above the day!

Tides of the stench
Will ebb and flow,
And you, untouched, my Amber-Gray.

As adjoining streams
Join as one, kneeling
Through the banks of probable decay,
Cannot claim perfume
Into rotten wounds,
May your sweetness live above the day!

From the heart of the stench
A rose-bud blooms,
A rose-bud blooms for the day.

Tides of the stench
Will ebb and flow,
And you, untouched, my Amber-Gray.

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Pulpit
Chapter 8: The Pulpit

Climbin' up the pulpit, as a ship at sea.
Isolate your sermon, lofty like a priest.
At the prow:
Symbolism now!
So we set the stage
From a random page.

Every affect, image, turning of the leaf
Doesn't carry meaning deeper than the brief
Dropped impression:
Lightness isn't heaven.
But oft it goes,
The tempest of our woes,

Whether a lost, forgotten captain,
Or rebel to shake the wrath of God.

Through the door, a mass of idiosyncrasies:
With the shell of sailors over suit to preach.
Old and bright,
Fascinating sight,
But a man the same,
Don't forget his name,

Whether a lost, forgotten captain,
Or rebel to shake the wrath of God.

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Whiteness of the Whale
Chapter 42: The Whiteness of the Whale

A study in white
Surrounds every taker --
Imperial blight,
Terrifically pure.
Desolate glaciers found at great heights,
Cold and unloving in the next life.

With every color
Layered in turn,
The sum of creation
Is empty in full.
Pure in its essence, but a nothing.
Are we perspectives on a nothing?

In death, the body's pallid --
As spirit drains away
The vessel’s overflowing.

A color to mask
Each kind of decay --
The specter of white
Implies every corruption.
Purity's nothing but an absence.
Cleansed of the human, now an absence.

In death, the body's pallid --
As the spirit drains away
The vessel is overflowing.

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Town-Ho's Story
Chapter 54: The Town-Ho's Story

In the conduit connecting the animal to nature,
Born and bred a wretched beast -- the intellect abstracted.
Be it anchored in the heavens or deep into to soul,
It can move a mountain peak.

Ocean to ocean,
No contradiction meant
From motion to motion.
Take your position
And reside there forever!

Every act of violence punished by punishment's creator.
Exorcise your will in peace.

Ocean to ocean,
A move towards democracy
From motion to motion.
Take your position
And reside there forever!

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: Cutting In
Chapter 67: Cutting In

Hey! You couldn't find me a better way.
It's modern ingenuity!
And with the strength that we get from science,
Bend we to the gods.

You couldn't find me a better way!
You couldn't find me a better way!

Hey! So with a pulley we move a mountain,
But there's a ritual involved,
So in a circle we worship nature,
The gift that made us gods!

You couldn't find me a better way!
You couldn't find me a better way!

Hey! And so lift up our voice in song,
And bow before the harvest sung,
And for machines making us efficient,
Bend we to the gods!
Bend we to the gods!

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: Squid
Chapter 59: Squid

Matterhorn, now rising from the ocean --
Twisted form as roots into the deep.
As the mountains
Reach down and down
To the brimstone, the Kraken grasps the sea.

Nest of snakes, to blindly rip asunder
Hapless souls who chance into their reach.
Widen berth
From sin and sorrow --
Let The Whale drive him to the deep.

But beware (beware!),
As the weight descends
A whirlpool left behind.
So beware (beware!),
From the oceans fair,
Damnation grasping thee.

Though they say, the rising Whale as portent,
Bringing 'round the fateful end of days,
It's the Kraken
That rises with Him
In the fray, will shatter all the world.

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Doubloon
Chapter 99: The Doubloon

A thing yet precious in itself,
Stamped with the symbols of a collective memory,
And then stamped again, each eyes
Create reflections in the ridges, shaped alike.

And a man can filter text through any text,
And a man himself is text filtering text.
Come along and write the world with me!
You make me precious, and I make you precious.

I look, you look, he looks; we look,
Ye look, they look are crazy as a thing can be.
And we recognize these truths,
And yet oblige the process, meaning be the rule.

And a man can filter text through any text,
And a man himself is text, filtering text.
Come along and write the world with me!
You make me precious, and I make you precious.

A thing yet precious in itself,
A purpose at the center of our waning lives,
It's a story that we make --
Unscrew the navel and will everything unwind?

And a man can filter text through any text,
And a man is but a text filtering text:
Come along and write the world with me!
You make me precious, and I make you precious.

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: Knights and Squires
Chapter 27: Knights and Squires

Bumbling nobility paired with strength
Provides a might without right, Oh!
Led underestimating the majesty,
The gravity facing us.

How could I breathe
A little of each nightmare
Sighed in all dying breaths?

God of the air
Medicated with camphor,
Block miasma of empathy.

Stout, Earthly travesty led with ignorance,
The dirt in its fearlessness.
Never to feel the depths, even
Face to face, all sublimity wasted, Oh!

Nothing to move
The mountain of your violence,
Even battering waves!

Man of the world,
Yet braced against the influx
Of our tremulous days.

Rally the backs,
The strength of every island
Pitched at banners of eloquence.

Only the wretch,
The touch of something deeper,
Will be graceful on high.

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: Leg and Arm
Chapter 100: Leg and Arm -- The Pequod, of Nantucket, meets the Samuel Enderby, of London

You gave a leg and I gave an arm --
Let's shake bones together!
We thrilled for the Whale; we both came to harm --
In whiteness stained forever.

Both taken by the do-run-run --
Where the lust begun
I can't begin to say.

Once clinging to a grim resolve,
And so our flesh dissolved,
It melted away!

Our doctor's a drunk; he left me a stump,
Presenting Dr. Bunger!
"The captain, that man, with hammer for hand,
Clubbed me in a passion!"

(both:)
Oh Bunger, you're a rascal, man / Oh Boomer, so facetious, man
You didn't feel my hand / I never drank a dram
No matter what you say! / No matter what you say!

Oh Bunger, nothing like you man!
"And neither you, captain!"
(both:)
We'll laugh all the day! / We'll laugh all the day!

You gave a leg and I gave an arm --
Let's shake bones together!
We thrilled for the Whale; we both came to harm --
Let's shake bones together!
Let's shake bones together!

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Great Heidelburgh Tun
Chapter 77: The Great Heidelburgh Tun

Great cask of delicious wine
Built 'neath the castle floor
As a sign of the bounty of our righteousness,
As a crown on the kingdom's store.

Whoa-oh, Whoa-oh!
Guard your luxury!

Great wax of a class divine
Sought for appearance sake.
As they smooth every wrinkle from an aging face,
Does the face turn collectively blank.

Whoa-oh, Whoa-oh!
Guard your luxury!

Great tun on the monster's mind,
Promised and plentiful,
So take care with the lever on the guillotine
Lest you spill it on the castle floor.

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: Nantucket
Chapter 14: Nantucket

The thief who thieves from countrymen
Is a vicious criminal.
Heroes cast their empires wide
As a noble blanketing.
Mining yet through surfaces
To extract the best from all.
As oil on water brings a darkness
The heroes' shadows fall.

An island born from Heaven stealing
The future of the Earth,
Rests its head atop the ocean,
A proxy one for each.
Friends and lovers laugh together,
The rape's relentless cry,
A barren desert gilded with
A villain's remedy.

Every surface serves as but
The monster's wherewithal.
A push defined by that to push
Makes a gift of boundaries.
Life in placid infinite,
Though a paradise in form,
Tortures spirits' needs to break
Into other peoples' homes.

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Pequod meets the Virgin
Chapter 81: The Pequod meets the Virgin

Who knew, under placid waters,
King Erudition writhes?
Barbed by weaker opposition,
Pitied for muted cries.

Were it head on, no one could resist him,
Strength of a thousand thighs,
But with one prick, hiding in the water,
King Erudition writhes.

And I, I, I,
Heavy with a grievance, heavy with a grievance.
And I, I, I,
Heavy with a grievance, heavy with a grievance.

The good folk, dark if for the pity
Man brings to suicide.
With a cheek turned, live your final moments
Deep in a ponderous mind.

And I, I, I,
Heavy with a grievance, heavy with a grievance.
And I, I, I,
Heavy with a grievance, heavy with a grievance.

Who knew, under placid waters,
King Erudition writhes?
With a cheek turned, live your final moments
Deep in a ponderous mind.

And I, I, I,
Heavy with a grievance, heavy with a grievance.
And I, I, I,
Heavy with a grievance, heavy with a grievance.

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Blanket
Chapter 68: The Blanket

The skin of a man does tell of his history.
The skin of a man is thin as the breeze.
The skin of the whale is written as mystery,
Scarred in the vast, unspoken sea.

Learn your lessons from his presence,
Lifeless, laid at your feet.
Thick skin, blessed warmth, and refuge
Need a man to survive.

Much as the whale, does man need an inner warmth,
Though banished to live out his days in the cold.
Much as the whale, is man but a stranger
On the Earth he calls his home.

Learn your lessons from his presence,
Lifeless, laid at your feet.
Thick skin, blessed warmth, and refuge
Need a man to survive.
Thick skin, blessed warmth, and refuge
Need a man to survive.

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Quadrant
Chapter 118: The Quadrant

Angled reflection,
But to sweep the sky will never tell why,
Only the present
Where the see-er stands alone.

Rational repose --
You can bend and strain with nothing yet gained,
Then the descendance,
In a fiery slide we go.

Astral projection,
Behind all things, the knowledge of scenes
Dealt as invective,
So burn your fires bright.

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: Ahab
Chapter 28: Ahab

All but consumed by fire,
As in spirit, the body tempered -- a cast alive.
Scar from tip to toe
From a battle, perhaps with his very birth.
But the wise man points to the elements,
As the fire locked jaws with the ocean, hence.

Stands on an effigy
Of the jaw that did undermine his stability.
Anchored upon the tip
In an auger hole of his firm resolve.
With a gaze clamped tight on the infinite,
Could a faltered captain lose his grip?

High times for all!

Still but to watch and wait,
No excitement of purpose to drive the clouds away.
Creases upon his brow
From the weight of a wrecked principality.
But the tropic air dances casually
'Round the crags of Ahab, softening.

High times for all!

But the wise man points to the elements.

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: The Chase -- Second Day
Chapter 134: The Chase -- Second Day

It's the worst could happen
Every waiting day:
How could darkness pass away?

In the early morning
With a captain's grace,
Soon foretold to whence we chase.

With the wind an ally
And the sea to speak,
Brought us place, pernicious.

Thundering breach, froth, and majesty
Tore into view.

And he took us head-on,
And we circled free,
And I lost my death in thee.

Every beacon splintered
In a punchbowl sea.
Firstly, cradled; lastly, leaned.

Would I have leaned any oftener!
Would I have leaned!

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea
Track Name: Knights and Squires
Chapter 26: Knights and Squires

His skin's a blotter
Drawn tight, memory of the water.
Stalwart beacon of courage,
Raised in the day.

He's superstitious
But smart, blessed with inner visions.
Full sail, brave with the horrors
Staged from the Earth.

I sing of stronger
Degrees of honor
Than kingly riches,
Shone from the work of man!

But, lo, he falters!,
Faced with supernatural horrors.
Come, friends, brace him with his blemish,
As one we fall!

In every fellow
Exalt purity of spirit
From dust, rising to the glory
Of functional.

I sing of stronger
Degrees of honor
Than kingly riches,
Shone from the work of man!

© and ℗ 2010 Patrick Shea

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