For the next month or so we will be backtracking alphabetically in the music library project to discuss new songs added to the collection. Most of these songs were presented in other bloggers’ Word Press articles, so I have all of you to thank for your input. The first of the new songs added is today’s featured song – A Salty Dog by the English Band Procol Harum. It has an ostensible nautical theme as indicated by the cover, seagulls in the introduction, and the maritime lyrics.
All hands on deck, we’ve run afloat
I heard the Captain cry
Explore the ship, replace the cook
Let no one leave alive
Across the straits, around the horn
How far can sailors fly?
A twisted path, our tortured course
And no one left alive
This title track itself was the first Procol track to use an orchestra and reached number 44 in the UK Singles Chart in 1969 and the album itself number 27 in the Albums Chart. The band formed in Southend-on-Sea, Essex in 1967 and named themselves after a male blue Burmese cat, which belonged to Liz Coombes, a friend. Their best-known recording is the 1967 hit single “A Whiter Shade of Pale“, one of the few singles to have sold over 10 million copies. Although noted for their baroque and classical influence, Procol Harum’s music is described as psychedelic rock and proto-prog with hints of the blues, R&B, and soul.
I enjoy letting this song Salty Dog enswathe me and just ride with it. The strings and chord progressions convey the feeling of floating on the sea extremely well. It’s a beautiful song which honors all those sailors who have been lost at sea over the centuries. The nameless and faceless many who braved the sea with as much hope and passion as those who made it through their journeys alive. A lot of Sailors have stories that border on the paranormal. I guess it’s the mystery of the sea.