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Rough Music

from Skull & Magpies by the Mad Maggies



ballad of a roving man and a discontented crew

When sailors were unhappy with they way they were being treated they would make noise at nighttime on the lower decks by rolling cannonballs (shot), banging iron objects together etc. These sounds are called "rough music" and were a warning to the captain and officers that the sailors’ discontent could turn to mutiny.

"scratches" are the scars from flogging




I’m a roving man, I ply the waves
from Bristol to Benin
from Boston Harbour to Barbados
and back again

Side by side I sail and fight with
brave and brazen men
Our bond is born of circumstance and the
quest for rich fortune

I owe the scratches on my back
to a captain drunk with power
His wrath bled all of loyalty
and set the crew to sour

We bade our time with firm resolve
to carry out the plot
Then one dark night every hand
took to rolling shot

Ay O Ay O
Heed these sounds of righteous discontent
Ay O Ay O
We shall have proper recompense

Of all the women I have known
I’m true to only one
To her I’ll bring these silver coins
and silks of dark crimson

I’m a roving man, I ply the waves
from Bristol to Benin
from Boston Harbour to Barbados
and back again


from Skull & Magpies, released January 1, 2009

Michael Ashby: bass guitar
Johny Blood: tuba
Adrian Gormley: alto sax
Lawrence Jarach: trombone
Maggie Martin: accordion, vocals
Bill Schwartz: drums
Rhian Robinson: clarinet, whistle
Gary “GDub” Wium: guitars

Music & lyrics by M. Martin

Recorded at Wally Sound, Oakland, California
Analog, 2 inch tape, 16 track

Mastered by J. J Golden, Ventura, California


all rights reserved



the Mad Maggies California

The Mad Maggies play genre fluid, mostly original, mostly danceable music with a dash of hot pepper and a swig of slivovitz -- they kick up some dust.

They are available to play private parties, large festivals & everything else in between.
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