“Pirate Pup”

Sea songs and sea shanties are often composed in 6/8 or 3/4 time, a rolling rhythm that replicates the rolling of the ocean and the work of sailors rhythmically hauling the ropes.

The rhythm of Caroline Stutson‘s verses in Pirate Pup is also in 6/8 time, and her dedication makes it clear why that rhythm lives in her: “In memory of my seafaring dad, …”

My own childhood memories include having the Fireside Book of Folk Songs open on the kitchen table for reference as we sisters sang our way through the evening dishes. In this way I became a lover of sea songs and sea shanties myself.

I took to Ms. Stutson’s verses immediately, and, recalling the illustrations in Fireside of sailors playing concertinas, I heard the music in my head performed on an accordion. To round out the “Pirate Pup” sea song, I worked with Ms. Stutson to compose a sea-worthy chorus, which is sung every two verses.

Robert Rayevsky‘s illustrations bring the rough-and-tumble adventure of Pirate Pup to life with exquisite details that capture the reader into searching for (and finding!) more delightful surprises on every page.

Pirate Pup is currently out of print. Ms. Stutson, Mr. Rayevsky and I would love to see the marriage of our efforts on store, home and library bookshelves.


“Pirate Pup”
(Excerpt of synthesized recording, music only)


Cover image of Pirate Pup by Caroline Stutson