July 3, 2009

Ray Stevens: I Want To Sing and Dance

The year was 1985 and the singer was Ray Stevens and the album was I Have Returned and the recording was "The Pirate Song". The sub-title was "I Want To Sing and Dance" which was a phrase heard prominently in the song. The concept was based upon The Pirates of Penzance, the opera from Gilbert and Sullivan. The song is a hilarious conversation between two pirates. One pirate being gruff, mean, bloodthirsty...the other being quite withdrawn and effeminate. The original recording of this song, as I started the blog writing about, was 1985. He re-recorded it in 1991 for his #1 With a Bullet CD. Ray made a music video of this song in 1999, which provided a third recording for the music video. The original recording is sang at a slower pace...making it more of a ballad. In 1991 he changed tempo but then for the music video he went back to the original arrangement and tempo. Of course, the music video shows us an outrageous depiction of the less than gruff pirate who just wants to sing and dance, hoping to land a part in the Pirates of Penzance.

Photobucket "Shiver me timbers!!" The gruff pirate is beside himself with disbelief over how a fellow pirate is disinterested in looting, plundering, fighting, killing, and general piracy of the high-seas. No matter what the gruff pirate mentions, it doesn't catch the interest of the effeminate pirate who turns out to be the gruff pirate's son as we discover during their on-going conversation/argument. The desire to sing and dance soon spreads to the gruff pirate...he demands that his crew start to sing and dance. If they don't he'll have them walk the plank. Then, in unison, everyone starts to sing the song's chorus...explaining how much they want to sing and dance. In the music video, if you look closely, Ralph Emery is among the pirates. The gruff pirate's name is Long John Blackbeard Peg-Leg Patch-eye Hook and the song is, naturally, sprinkled with pirate lingo.

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