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Mark Knopfler — Privateering
Album: Privateering
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1817









Released: 2012
Length: 6:10
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Yon's my Privateer
See how trim she lies
To every man a lucky hand
And to every man a prize
I live to ride the Ocean
The mighty world around
To take a little plunder
And to hear the cannon sound

To lay with pretty women
To drink Madeira wine
To hear the roller's thunder
On a shore that isn't mine
Privateering, we will go
Privateering, Yoh! oh! ho!
Privateering, we will go
Yeah! oh! oh! ho!

The people on your Man 'o war
Are treated worse than scum
I'm no flogging Captain
My God I've sailed with some
Come with me to Barbary
We'll ply there up and down
Not quite exactly
In the service of the Crown

To lay with pretty women
To drink Madeira wine
To hear the roller's thunder
On a shore that isn't mine
Privateering, we will go
Privateering, Yoh! oh! ho!
Privateering, we will go
Yeah! oh! oh! ho!

Look here there's my Privateer
She's small but she can sting
Licensed to take prizes
With a letter from the King
I love the streets and taverns
Of a pretty foreign town
Tip my hat to the dark eyed ladies
As we sally up and down

To lay with pretty women
To drink Madeira wine
To hear the roller's thunder
On a shore that isn't mine
Privateering, we will go
Privateering, Yoh! oh! ho!
Privateering, we will go
Yeah! oh! oh! ho!

Britannia needs her Privateers
Each time she goes to war
Death to all her enemies
No prizes matter more
Come with me to Barbary
We'll ply there up and down
Not quite exactly
In the service of the Crown

I lay with pretty women
To drink Madeira wine
To hear the roller's thunder
On a shore that isn't mine
Privateering, we will go
Privateering, Yoh! oh! ho!
Privateering, we will go
Yeah! oh! oh! ho!
Comments (126)add comment
 spotcheckbilly wrote:


The only remnant of those days that I know of is Weasel. He does a show on WTMD in Baltimore on Friday nights and Saturday morning.
 
I though that Cerphe was still bouncing around?
Makes me think of a "The Man's Too Strong" part II, listening to that guitar riff
 dinkydau wrote:

Flash from the past, WHFS and Cerphe , early 70's just back from Nam. Georgetown,Dupont Circle and P Street Beach were happening. WHFS was the FM station, great musicon radio and great concerts at Georgetown Univ. and GW. Thanks for the memories.
 

The only remnant of those days that I know of is Weasel. He does a show on WTMD in Baltimore on Friday nights and Saturday morning.
 BCarn wrote:

Obviously you've never heard the song "Barrett's Privateers". Not a coastal person are you?
 
Nope. 747 miles to D.C. 1,990 to LA 
 mrtuba9 wrote:
A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war.

Had to look it up! 
 
Obviously you've never heard the song "Barrett's Privateers". Not a coastal person are you?
A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war.[1]

Had to look it up! 
Funny, you can be a rock star/one of the world's best guitarists, but still you'd rather be something else, like a pirate.
WHFS.. High school.. what memories
 SeriousLee wrote:

Indeed. {#Cheers}

 
Yes indeed.


It occurs to me that just about any Mark Knopfler song that comes on, it takes me about ten seconds in to turn my focus on it, think "I like this" and then hear ol' Mark's voice, and then think "Well no wonder.". :-) 
 Misterfixit wrote:
Reminds me of a time when Cerphe at WHFS played a series of "Sea Faring Chantys" sometime after midnight I think - 1976 or so.  Sons like this interspersed with some comedy by Martin Mull ("aye, ye'll get the whip for sure this time mister!"), then various Irish Shanties.  OMG those were the greatest of FM Radio Days — WHFS Bethesda Maryland, 102.5 (station ID followed by a live performance of Linda Ronstadt and "Sailing Shoes".

I had it all captured on a 10" 15ips tape from our Pentagon monitoring station then mixed it all down to a cassette.  Well, that cassette lasted from 1976 until 1984 when it finally defenestrated while I was driving from Checkpoint Alfa up the East German Autobahn to Checkpoint Bravo and entry back into the US Sector of West Berlin.  Damned Opel Senator sedan and Blau-kaput AM/FM/MW/SW/cassette deck player.

 

 
Flash from the past, WHFS and Cerphe , early 70's just back from Nam. Georgetown,Dupont Circle and P Street Beach were happening. WHFS was the FM station, great musicon radio and great concerts at Georgetown Univ. and GW. Thanks for the memories.
 sandtyme wrote:
This is probably my favourite Mark Knopfler song... hmmmm... most likely because it is kinda reminiscent of Gordon Lightfoot and The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald.

 
Indeed. {#Cheers}
This is probably my favourite Mark Knopfler song... hmmmm... most likely because it is kinda reminiscent of Gordon Lightfoot and The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald.
I like the violin and smallpipes, on the same musical theme as "Far From the Clyde" but with lyrics not so heartbreaking.
"Not quite exackl'y in the service of The Crown..."
Reminds me of a time when Cerphe at WHFS played a series of "Sea Faring Chantys" sometime after midnight I think - 1976 or so.  Sons like this interspersed with some comedy by Martin Mull ("aye, ye'll get the whip for sure this time mister!"), then various Irish Shanties.  OMG those were the greatest of FM Radio Days — WHFS Bethesda Maryland, 102.5 (station ID followed by a live performance of Linda Ronstadt and "Sailing Shoes".

I had it all captured on a 10" 15ips tape from our Pentagon monitoring station then mixed it all down to a cassette.  Well, that cassette lasted from 1976 until 1984 when it finally defenestrated while I was driving from Checkpoint Alfa up the East German Autobahn to Checkpoint Bravo and entry back into the US Sector of West Berlin.  Damned Opel Senator sedan and Blau-kaput AM/FM/MW/SW/cassette deck player.

 
Such a brilliant songwriter.
That really is an outstanding song - solid 9
 
Great song and a great album. If you like O'Brien try Alexander Kent's (Douglas Reeman) Bolitho series.

 
 Ahnyer_Keester wrote:

I tried to scratch the surface of O'Brian but got lost in the sea jargon. Perhaps I'll try it again with the recommended lexicon. Thank you for the suggestion!

 
I found the trick with O'Brian was to completely ignore the jargon. He artfully writes in such a way that nothing essential to the plot is buried in that jargon.

Then as time goes on, the vocabulary just seeps in. Often this happens through the device of Maturin's immovable ignorance, which allows Aubrey to explain various nautical terms.

Give it another go!

(But if you must, here's a lexicon specific to the series: https://a.co/6zosARU)
There's a depth to Knopfler's voice that sends me gently to another place in time.  It's raw and real and I love it.    
 kcar wrote:
Great movie. The books by Patrick O'Brian are even better—some of the best historical fiction I've read. If you plunge into the series, I highly recommend the lexicon "A Sea of Words" by Dean King, a historical atlas of the Napoleonic era and something like Stephen Biesty's "Cross Sections: Man of War." 
 
I tried to scratch the surface of O'Brian but got lost in the sea jargon. Perhaps I'll try it again with the recommended lexicon. Thank you for the suggestion!
8? No, bump this to 9! Great song.
Vocals.... shades of Gordon Lightfoot.... Lovely.
 Segue wrote:
No.

 
YESSSSSS!    {#Hearteyes}
I am a big fan of Mr. Knopfler's, but please why not some other of his excellent tracks? This is in very heavy rotation here and has been for a loooooooooooong time. 
No.
Great follow up to the Neko Case track. I'm liking his recent stuff. He's done the rock star thing and now just making the music he likes to make.
great Travis picking
Cool cover art when sprinter vans are just coming into the norm in the U.S.
 fredriley wrote:

The last line is telling. Privateers were essentially paramilitary bandits of the sea, carrying out dirty work at arms length from their sponsoring government, and 'deniable' when they went too far. The famous Francis Drake (of mythical bowls fame) was one of many privateers in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, who both filled their holds with booty and ravaged 'enemy' shipping in the service of Her Queenship. A long and dishonourable occupation, continued these days by such as mercenaries (sorry, 'security contractors') in Iraq.

 
not quite the same as Security contractors. but both were/are prone to being tossed to the wolves when politically expedient.
 ScottN wrote:
Come with me to Barbary
We'll ply there up and down
Not quite exactly
In the service of the Crown

 
The last line is telling. Privateers were essentially paramilitary bandits of the sea, carrying out dirty work at arms length from their sponsoring government, and 'deniable' when they went too far. The famous Francis Drake (of mythical bowls fame) was one of many privateers in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, who both filled their holds with booty and ravaged 'enemy' shipping in the service of Her Queenship. A long and dishonourable occupation, continued these days by such as mercenaries (sorry, 'security contractors') in Iraq.
 seageek wrote:

I love the lyrics in this song as it reminds of some of my six years of sea time aboard everything from small research ships to large oil tankers. When you are hundreds of miles from the closest friendly port, you really are vulnerable (think Somalia) to pirates even in this modern day. You can call for help on the satellite phone, but it takes quite a while for the cavalry to show up—if ever.

The port towns in some small foreign countries are still pretty wild with bars frequented largely by merchant sailors and the women Mark Knopfler alludes to. Back in the day, the thought of privateering must have been alluring to young men with no other job prospects after hearing sea stories from the lucky privateers who came back alive.

The allure of going to sea was similar for me—adventure and economics—and I miss some aspects of the life, although I'm glad I get to stay home with the wife and kids nowadays.



 

very interesting comment

I love the lyrics in this song as it reminds of some of my six years of sea time aboard everything from small research ships to large oil tankers. When you are hundreds of miles from the closest friendly port, you really are vulnerable (think Somalia) to pirates even in this modern day. You can call for help on the satellite phone, but it takes quite a while for the cavalry to show up—if ever.

The port towns in some small foreign countries are still pretty wild with bars frequented largely by merchant sailors and the women Mark Knopfler alludes to. Back in the day, the thought of privateering must have been alluring to young men with no other job prospects after hearing sea stories from the lucky privateers who came back alive.

The allure of going to sea was similar for me—adventure and economics—and I miss some aspects of the life, although I'm glad I get to stay home with the wife and kids nowadays.


Knoffler sound - vocals, lyrics, guitar, pacing - CHECK .... Hook? Nope. 
Pleasant but got nothing on earlier Dire Straits repertoire. 
I like Mark Knopfler solo and of course Dire Straits music, but ... a lot of his solo stuff kind of sounds the same ... in a way.
With that said, I like this one - 6 
heh, I was reading about the Barbary Corsairs and English Privateers while this was playing
 Ahnyer_Keester wrote:
I just love Knopfler and this song makes me really want to watch "Master and Commander: Far Side of the World" again. "Not exactly in the service of the king..." Great line.

 
Great movie. The books by Patrick O'Brian are even better—some of the best historical fiction I've read. If you plunge into the series, I highly recommend the lexicon "A Sea of Words" by Dean King, a historical atlas of the Napoleonic era and something like Stephen Biesty's "Cross Sections: Man of War." 

SuperWeh wishes that Knopfer would rock out more. I love his sound but feel the same way. I think he got much of that out of his system with Dire Straits.  
Have you ever seen Dire Straits live (i.e. Alchemy album)? But I agree, if you just like people that "rock" you better stay away of great musicians like Knofler or Sting. Every music has its moment I think ...
SuperWeh wrote:

He never really "rocked", great musician, but it always feels like he needs a good kick in the butt

And I wonder whether he would get any airplay if his name weren't Mark Knopfler (I wonder this with Sting too)...

 


 MassivRuss wrote:
Single-malt Knopfler:

Genius, mellowed and deepened with age.

{#Drunk}

 
He never really "rocked", great musician, but it always feels like he needs a good kick in the butt

And I wonder whether he would get any airplay if his name weren't Mark Knopfler (I wonder this with Sting too)...
A similar tune than "The Man's too Strong" of '86, but I like it!!
Oh come on... this song is fun.
Single-malt Knopfler:

Genius, mellowed and deepened with age.

{#Drunk}
 ScottN wrote:
Come with me to Barbary
We'll ply there up and down
Not quite exactly
In the service of the Crown

 
To lay with pretty women

And drink Madeira wine 
Come with me to Barbary
We'll ply there up and down
Not quite exactly
In the service of the Crown
 rdo wrote:


OMG, this song is horrendous.  1

 
Agree wholeheartedly, me hearties.  Yarrrr
I should just join some sort of service that automatically buys everything Mark Knopfler releases. I have loved at least one song on each of his albums. This is a great one.
 oldfart48 wrote:


one of the best writers, and players on the planet and of course you don't like him....why are you listening to rp?
you dislike most everything you hear.

 
Half the songs I have rated are 7 or higher.  Those same songs are much more than half of the actual air-plays though.  Nice try, cleetus.

This song is really bad, as someone else pointed out it sounds like Giligan's Island.  I do not get this guy's appeal.
 kuril wrote:
I was stuck in a car with Mark Knopfler on repeat for a few days.  

 
My kind of breakdown!  
I was stuck in a car with Mark Knopfler on repeat for a few days.  
 hanssachs wrote:
I dunno - he doesn't seem to be too enthusiastic about the whole idea ... meh.

 

I agree..nice concept though I guess..but even his worst effort is better than my best, so there you have it ;)


Mark Knopfler @ Sportpaleis Antwerpen - 12-05-2013 - "Privateering Tour" - Never can get enough of Mark's music, lyrics, genius... Wish he'd tour here in the US as much as he does Europe. Soulful music at its best.



I dunno - he doesn't seem to be too enthusiastic about the whole idea ... meh.
 bozobit wrote:
A great soundtrack for the Aubrey-Maturin series. I wonder if he had just read the Letter of Marque.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Letter_of_Marque
  Spot-on, a well researched and bracing tale of privateers in a sea of misplaced comments about pirates.
 philinnz wrote:

why? to lay with pretty women and drink madeira wine.....makes sense to me
 
There ya go.
I just love Knopfler and this song makes me really want to watch "Master and Commander: Far Side of the World" again. "Not exactly in the service of the king..." Great line.
I hate to say it, and it almost doesn't matter, but there is something odd about hearing whiffs of the Gilligan's Island theme in this tune. 
 
 Lakeview wrote:
Like a lot of what Mark does but this is just goofy. Did he write this? If so, why?

 


why? to lay with pretty women and drink madeira wine.....makes sense to me
Like a lot of what Mark does but this is just goofy. Did he write this? If so, why?
I fekkin love Mark Knopfler's ability to Rock a ballad throughout 30 years of rapid technological innovations. That sez something about the difference between a musician and a Bard. {#Meditate}
 rdo wrote:


OMG, this song is horrendous.  1

 

one of the best writers, and players on the planet and of course you don't like him....why are you listening to rp?
you dislike most everything you hear.
"I love Mark Knopler's voice and his guitar playing, but I really wish he would pick up the pace every now and then.  That was one of the things that made Dire Straits so great - a good mix of up tempo tunes and slower story telling songs."

There's plenty of very fine "up tempo" stuff on the new MK double album, but for reasons unknown, those gems aren't getting any play here.
 rdo wrote:


OMG, this song is horrendous.  1

 
Oh the humanity!  I don't think I can make it another day.    -9999999.
I love Mark Knopler's voice and his guitar playing, but I really wish he would pick up the pace every now and then.  That was one of the things that made Dire Straits so great - a good mix of up tempo tunes and slower story telling songs.
 rdo wrote:
I have resolved to reserve judgement on all new songs, but I have to make an exception for this.  3, and likely to go down.   Please stop playing this guy.

 

OMG, this song is horrendous.  1
A great soundtrack for the Aubrey-Maturin series. I wonder if he had just read the Letter of Marque.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Letter_of_Marque

marvelous song...  soooo pertinent in the present tense...

Everybody in my churches loves this song...

Wow, I didn't even know Mark Knopfler had a solo career after Dire Straits -- one of the greatest rock bands of all time IMO. So many of their songs are 10's for me I can't even count. Can't believe I'm unaware he had his own album come out just last year. And it's got that lovely distinct Mark Knopfler sound, though without the rest of the Dire Straits it's missing a little bit of magic.
Aye, mate.  I'd go privateering with you any day.
 kcar wrote:

brilliant piece of acting from mr.pitt!
scene from the movie
"Fer Maw"

 

 MojoJojo wrote:
"Periwenkle blue"
 
scene from the movie "Snatch"
"Fer Maw"
 Good one. 
NuggetNectar wrote:
So the bartender says to the pirate, "hey buddy, you know you got a steering wheel hanging from your testicles?" and the pirate says, "arrrrrrrr, it's drivin' me nuts"...
 


I Fucking love this song! Thanks RP i'd give it 11.
Knopfler does the working man, in and out of uniform, from that period better than most.  
For a brief moment I thought this was an alternative version of DS' The Man's Too Strong....!
"Periwenkle blue"
 Anax wrote:
Another sea song from Mr. Knopfler. Doesn't he have any other ideas?
 
This amazing 2 disc release contains 20 songs. Two of them could be considered "sea songs" (if one really wanted to break that down as a genre).  The other 18, not. 

That's exactly what I keep hearing too!

I do love Mark Knopfler though, his music makes takes me to far away places.

linden wrote:

Ride a T-rex?

 
 


 Imkirok wrote:
Mark Knopfler has made a career out of making interesting and compelling songs based on ordinary events or activities (think Skateaway, Sultans of Swing, In The Gallery...).  This song is no different.  I don't think it's banal, but rather beautiful in its simplicity.

How is the rest of the album?
 
Ya, good point.  When we realize that we only get to look forward to the exceptionally good and the exceptionally bad at the rate of 10% of the time each, that means we're left with that 80% of our lives chunk in the terribly banal middle.  Seems to me that writing for that middle 80% ain't such a bad idea after all.
 Anax wrote:
Another sea song from Mr. Knopfler. Doesn't he have any other ideas?
 
How about that amazing tribute to an old truck he did? That was quite interesting, not too many trucker songs in that category of amazing.
Wow, that is some nice guitar, that is.
 toterola wrote:
. . . I recently saw these guys play live, opening for Bob Dylan. They were so much better than Dylan that the comparison is ridiculous. Really. . . .
 
I heard the same thing about the Vancouver show. Bob is a legend, but his best live performances are behind him.
Reminds me of Gordon Lightfoot.
Actually, in the service of Elizabeth I, this song is exactly correct.

I recently saw these guys play live, opening for Bob Dylan. They were so much better than Dylan that the comparison is ridiculous. Really.

Go see them if you can. Singularly brilliant performance. {#Yes}
Not quite exactly in the service of the Crown. From the days of grog.
Another sea song from Mr. Knopfler. Doesn't he have any other ideas?
I like this song. It reminds me of when I was in the Navy.

The lyric about "they treat you like sh*t on a warship" is amazingly accurate. 
Drink'n song in an Irish bar.  Wish I was there.
Knopfler and Dylan?!? Have you returned to earth yet?
IrieTom wrote:
I'll be seeing M.K. later this evening (opening for Bob Dylan).  I just turned RP on, and this was playing.  Oh boy oh boy oh boy...  I can't wait!!!
 


Ride a T-rex?

 
I'll be seeing M.K. later this evening (opening for Bob Dylan).  I just turned RP on, and this was playing.  Oh boy oh boy oh boy...  I can't wait!!!
As did I . He was sublime.
Just saw Mark last night in Boston. Amazing!!!!
I have resolved to reserve judgement on all new songs, but I have to make an exception for this.  3, and likely to go down.   Please stop playing this guy.
Privateers weren't pirates as such, but rather unofficial State agents given licence to raid and harass enemy shipping, whereas pirates were outlaws. I think the famous Francis Drake was a privateer. They were part mercenary, part 'private security contractor'. See the wikipedia entry.
Great set happening right now:
Leonard Cohen - Darkness
Grapes of Wrath - All the things I wasn't
Neko Case - Things that scare me
...and now this!
 NuggetNectar wrote:
So the bartender says to the pirate, "hey buddy, you know you got a steering wheel hanging from your testicles?" and the pirate says, "arrrrrrrr, it's drivin' me nuts"...
 
Thank you. {#Clap}  I've always been self conscious that I am not funny and could never deliver a joke, but that one, that one I may just try!
Mark Knopfler has made a career out of making interesting and compelling songs based on ordinary events or activities (think Skateaway, Sultans of Swing, In The Gallery...).  This song is no different.  I don't think it's banal, but rather beautiful in its simplicity.

How is the rest of the album?
 NuggetNectar wrote:
So the bartender says to the pirate, "hey buddy, you know you got a steering wheel hanging from your testicles?" and the pirate says, "arrrrrrrr, it's drivin' me nuts"...
 
I liked that joke so much that I'm pretty sure if my girlfriend hears that one or "Did you hear about the new pirate movie? It's rated Arrrrr!" again she'll probably murder somebody.  {#Lol}
So the bartender says to the pirate, "hey buddy, you know you got a steering wheel hanging from your testicles?" and the pirate says, "arrrrrrrr, it's drivin' me nuts"...
Maybe not the greatest lyrics, but I saw Knopfler do this live the other day, and was absolutely blown away.
 Proclivities wrote:

Well, the song is specifically about "privateers" - often referred to as "pirates".  Is it the lyrical content or the amount of airplay which be gettin' under yer eyepatch?
 
Sorry, Proclivities, I wasn't aware that you were reading comprehension challenged.  The lyrics are banal and fatuous (hopefully, that's explicit and straight-forward enough for ye, me hearty).  This would be a good tune for Pirates of the Caribbean VI, or some other suck-in-the-morons flick.  You goin'?
My favourite privateer song is still Stan Rogers' Barretts Privateers.  Perhaps its "God Damn them all!" chorus isn't suitable for RP, though.
 joelbb wrote:
The tune and guitar work are fine, but the lyrics are just plain silly.  "Har har, Mateys and it's bound fer tha Dry Tortugas we'll be."  You're playing this waaay too often, Bill.  Save it for Talk Like a Pirate Day, arrrrrrrrhh!  Which reminds me, what's a pirate's favorite vegetable, arrrrrtichokes or arrrrsparagus?
 
Well, the song is specifically about "privateers" - often referred to as "pirates".  Is it the lyrical content or the amount of airplay which be gettin' under yer eyepatch?
Arrrrrr! I be lik'n this little ditty. Arrrrrrrrr.
The tune and guitar work are fine, but the lyrics are just plain silly.  "Har har, Mateys and it's bound fer tha Dry Tortugas we'll be."  You're playing this waaay too often, Bill.  Save it for Talk Like a Pirate Day, arrrrrrrrhh!  Which reminds me, what's a pirate's favorite vegetable, arrrrrtichokes or arrrrsparagus?
I'm in love...can't get enough of Mark.

Channeling the Black Keys via the album cover?

Typical quality work from Mr. Knopfler, not his best but certainly not his worst.


 ch83575 wrote:

Agreed, but lyrics were never Mr. Knopfler's strong suit.  Pretty consistent in that regard. 
 
That is true, he has the voice and the master guitar work, in this song I really liked the takeoff in the middle section and the rhythm players are , I hate this description, spot on. He continues.  {#Yes}
 kylieh wrote:
Great guitar work from a Master, but the lyrics sound a little lame...
 
Agreed, but lyrics were never Mr. Knopfler's strong suit.  Pretty consistent in that regard. 
Great guitar work from a Master, but the lyrics sound a little lame...
PSD Button !!!
 lkovathana wrote:
OK, it's a catchy tune, but the cover art implies a creeper-venture, rather than the spirit of the song. 
 
I like that cover design.  It's not necessarily sinister; maybe,. in the back of that van, they're knitting winter caps and mittens for the orphanage and the old-folks' home - or I guess it could be a "privateering" van.  Not a bad tune.
OK, it's a catchy tune, but the cover art implies a creeper-venture, rather than the spirit of the song. 
Arrr and be cashin' in on that Pirates of the Carib'an lucre, har har haarr!  A good shanty tune as sung by yer 4th graders everwhere.
"To lay with pretty women, to drink Madeira wine,  to hear the roller's thunder on a shore that isn't mine"*chants* xD
i love this song!! :D
Nice, as always. Too bad buying this album is near impossible...
This guy is fun to listen to.

Yar, me hearties, a Mark Knopfler sea chanty!