I thought I was writing the intro.

I thought I was just writing the prelude to this story I’ve been working on for the last 20 years… note, that’s the prelude, not the prequel I was working on for this same story three years ago… anyway, it turns out that if this is the prelude the rest of the novel’s going to be freakin’ huge, because I’m already at 10,000 words of prelude. Beautiful.

Anyway, in addition to the prelude that never ends, it appears I’m writing sea shanties. A sample, so you know I’m not just surfin’ the web over here instead of drawing comics ;)

***
After the second or third time that half the party fell down because one child on a rope tripped and pulled the rest of them down, Tom showed the children how to use their broom handles as makeshift walking sticks. The kids enjoyed the crack of all of the walking sticks hitting the rocks at the same time. They started to get a rhythm to it, and to take their mind off the dark and the cold, Tom started singing one of the sailing shanties he’d picked up down on the docks.

Heads up, lads, the time for fun is past
We’re here to sail the Knucker
on this ship so strong and fast
She’s a right old biddy with a whalebone for a mast
And I’ll tell you that you’ll love it
to the end of days.
Dum deedle deedle doddle deedle deedle die.

A few of the kids giggled, and Quick and some of the older ones that were familiar with the tune joined in on the next verse.

Heads up, lads, it’s the pirate’s life we’re at
With a dragon on our sales
and a deck that’s full o’ cats
Ye best put on yer sea legs or
the warf’s where you’ll be at
And yeh canna love the land
until the end of days
Dum deedle deedle doddle deedle deedle die.

Heads up, lads, the Maggie wants to chat
about our thievin’ ways
and the trade we dabble at
Well, we borrow from the saints
and we borrow from the rats,
And I’ll tell you that you’ll love it
to the end of days.
Dum deedle deedle doddle deedle deedle die.

Heads up, lads, into the wind we tack
We’re gonna sail this lady
’til the sea is inky black
We’ll double ’round the Card’nal’s ships
and then we’ll double back
And I’ll tell you that you’ll love it
to the end of days

Heads up, lads, until the guards we pass
We’ll sail them in a circle
’til they fall upon their ass-

“Tom!” Cass interrupted, “What kind of song are you teaching these children?” Even the youngest of them was singing along to the chorus. Quick grinned.

Tom just smiled and kept singing.

We’ve ladies waitin’ for us
full of fire and of brass
and I’ll tell you that you’ll love it
to the end of days.

“Tom, I’m warning you…” Cass said again. She looked annoyed, but he noted the laugher in her eyes behind the warning in her tone. He held up his hand to signal for the silence, then launched into another verse without missing a beat of the sticks upon the stones.

There was a bold young lass
and her name was Mistress Cass
She never ever smiled
and she never ever laughed
She said it’s time for work, boys
The time for fun is past
But I’ll tell you that I’ll love her
to the end of days.

Cass blushed deep red, and Quick all but fell over laughing. Tom waved his arms again, and everyone joined back in for the chorus.

Heads up, lads, the time for fun is past
We’re here to sail the Knucker
on this ship so strong and fast
She’s a right old biddy with a whalebone for a mast
And I’ll tell you that you’ll love it
to the end of days.
Dum deedle deedle doddle deedle-“

“What the muck is all that racket?” someone in front of them yelled.

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