Alestorm: Play Metal Like A Pirate Day

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In "Keelhauled," the "True Scottish Pirate Metal" band Alestorm has a warning for unfaithful sailors. courtesy of the artist hide caption

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In "Keelhauled," the "True Scottish Pirate Metal" band Alestorm has a warning for unfaithful sailors.

courtesy of the artist

Friday's Pick

  • Song: "Keelhauled"
  • Artist: Alestorm
  • CD: Black Sails at Midnight
  • Genre: Pirate Metal

This Saturday, landlubbers beware: Peg-legged shipmates may soon invade your beer halls and cubicles. Yes, it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day, on which every sentence ends with a hearty Arrr! and pick-up lines include allusions to parts of the ship. Heavy metal, being the simultaneously high- and low-brow genre that it is, has produced a number of fantasy offshoots, including Viking and Tolkien varietals, but there's a growing contingent of Jolly Roger-waving "Pirate Metal" advocates.

Enter Alestorm, whose members, in addition to sporting ruffled shirts and fold-over boots, not only address pirate-related concerns, but also sing like pirates. It seems like a no-brainer, but Alestorm has one step up on its peers: genuine yo-ho-ho Scottish accents. In "Keelhauled," vocalist and keytarist (set to "accordion," of course) Christopher Bowes describes the gruesome punishment that awaits unfaithful sailors: "We'll tie that scoundrel to a rope / and throw him overboard / Drag him underneath the ship / A terrifying, deadly trip." The song is sped along by stormy riffs and a penchant for Iron Maiden, but the chorus inspires a joyful, drunken sing-along for the unfortunate soul dragging below the hull.

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