Review: Bedtime Stories for Pirates

Rating: ★★★★★
Captain Bogg and Salty
www.boggandsalty.com

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Genre: Original pirate songs and tunes.
Rating: G
Target Audience: Kids, but HIGHLY recommended for all ages

Usually when someone makes a sing-a-long pirate album you get the distinct impression it was made by children’s entertainers trying their best to pretend at being pirates. As such, its appeal tends to be very limited.

When listening to Captain Bogg and Salty, however, I can’t help but feel that some recording executive got drunk one night and hired a bunch of genuine pirates to try and pretend at being children’s entertainers. And this is what makes it such a fantastic addition to any pirate CD collection – the songs are catchy, funny, and very, VERY piratey.

We start with “Recruitin’ the Crew,” a narrative piece in which Captain Bogg encourages local sailors to join him aboard his ferocious ship, the Pollywog. Next is “I’m a singin’ Pirate,” a very funny song where we meet several of the crew. But it was the next tune, “Deedle Dee Toe,” when I realized what a gem this album truly is. In this song an experienced salt coaches a new recruit, advising him of the dangers of spitting upwind and such. I first listened to this song on an Amtrak train, and the other passengers probably thought I was having a seizure, I was laughing so hard.

Next is “Cat O’Nine Tales,” which is a nice song, but doesn’t leave much of an impression on me. “Scurvy”, on the other hand, is another that will send you into convulsions. Following “Scurvy” is “Weather Eye”, which isn’t funny at all, but a slightly haunting and very touching song about a boy’s first night on watch. Then is the creepy and fun “Billy Bones”, and next “Manatee”, which to this day I think is a love ballad to a, well, a manatee. Wrapping it all up is “The Pollywog”, a very catchy farewell piece that sticks in the brain like barnicles on a whale’s noggin (but in a good way.)

I can’t recommend this album enough. It’s completely kid-appropriate, but I danced around the house to it as much as my nine-year-old. I’ve also found it a very good album to sing along with while washing dishes, for what that’s worth 🙂