Vladimir Vysotsky. Serving the Elements.

A Pirate Song.Translated by Akbar Muhammad.

A mutiny is on, and gulls cry high above,

Because two scoundrels hang on the yard-arm.

They’ve gotten a good reward for their foul bluff,

Brought to some gentlemen as offense as harm.

We catch the fair wind with each one of our sails!

A rightful prize is any ship alone.

Good luck is here, and we’ve made this faith ourselves

By hoisting the black flag with skull and bones.

Full of ill temper, they were moving from the bow —

These gentlemen have forgotten their word.

Some former friends locked one another in death struggle,

And after that long knives began the world.

We catch the fair wind with each one of our sails!

A rightful prize is any ship alone.

Good luck is here, and we’ve made this faith ourselves

By hoisting the black flag with skull and bones.

Two leaders cry, “It’s the right time to take the captain!”

And they fear nor the Devil nor the Lord.

But in the face of all the crew, our gallant captain

Has thrown the last booty overboard!

We catch the fair wind with each one of our sails!

A rightful prize is any ship alone.

Good luck is here, and we’ve made this faith ourselves

By hoisting the black flag with skull and bones.

Look ye and marvel as the gravestone-like mighty billow

Is washing these troublemakers overboard!

Kill every one of their crowd, and believe me

That a true gentleman never breaks his word.

We catch the fair wind with each one of our sails!

A rightful prize is any ship alone.

Good luck is here, and we’ve made this faith ourselves

By hoisting the black flag with skull and bones!

1969.

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