Thursday, September 5, 2013


Yesterday I took my five year old son school shopping. One errand had us at Whole Foods. He wanted to ride on my shoulders and I obliged him for a few minutes. He started humming a tune. I asked him what it was and he called out, "Guess!"

I listened for a few moments and said "Barrett's Privateers?"

He replied by singing, very loudly, "I'm a broken man on a hall-e-fax pier! The last of Barrett's privateers!"

A woman walking towards us in the ice cream aisle stopped and stared, her face frozen in horror. She said, "Oh my God." I felt her reaction was a bit over the top.

My son continued, "Fire no shots, shed no tears, last of Barrett's Privateers!" He drew out the last "e" for a few seconds.

We passed the woman who was frozen in horror. I smiled and nodded. She gasped and scurried away. I joined my son in singing the chorus a couple of times.
God damn them all!
I was told we'd cruise the seas for American gold
We'd fire no guns-shed no tears
Now I'm a broken man on a Halifax pier
The last of Barrett's Privateers.
My son puts a surprising amount of emotion into "God damn them all!" for someone who does not yet understand what the phrase means.

As we turned the corner I noticed a man behind us who was glaring at me. He mouthed something he clearly meant me to understand but I didn't parse it. Feeling a bit mischievous I cocked my ear towards him and said "Que?"

He snorted and walked past us, casting me one last disgusted look as he did so.

A few minutes later the impromptu concert ended as we began the negotiations for selecting a new lunch box.

No comments: