teenybuffalo (teenybuffalo) wrote,

Song: "Sail Away" aka "The Maiden in the Boat"

Here's a finished song from a few months ago, written on the heels of this post. (How the hell was that all the way back in July? Time has roared past me. Well, it's still important.) First sung in public in December 2016.

Tune: "The Lish Young Buy-A-Broom"

Based on the Japanese legend of the Utsuro-bune (literally "hollow ship") which is reported in supposedly-historical books as having appeared in 1803, near the shore of Hitachi province, Japan.
More info and context here.

When we were out a-fishing, a silver boat we found,
The top was made of crystal, flat and smooth and round.
We pulled it to the shore, its nature for to tell,
And inside was a maiden who stepped out alive and well.

Oh, sail away, sail away, little maiden, sail away,
Oh, may you find the shore that you seek one day!

Her hair looked like feathers, and her eyes were blue and wild,
She stood just as tall as a six-year-old child.
She wore three robes, and the outer one was gold,
And her ship was packed with dainties, as full as it could hold.


She looked me in my face and she chirped like a bird,
I know she asked a question but I couldn't catch a word.
So then we brought a scholar, who wrote words by hand,
And she answered him with nonsense that she scribbled in the sand.


If the Emperor knew this, we would all be killed,
But we gave her plums and rice and saw her water filled.
Then the maiden got back in and we put the top back on,
She waved for me to push her out, and then she was gone.

Tags: folklore, folklore: japan, history, history: the hollow ship, my songs, songs, writing
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