Cloudy and Cold - A Saint-Petersburg Shanty (Lyrics, Info, Audio, Video)

On April 3, 2017 the metro of my adopted home town was attacked by fanatical scum of that variety which, in delusional arrogance in the face of their cosmic insignificance, thinks that an almighty supreme creator of the universe somehow needs puny animated bags of water and dirt as enforcers.

I already had the beginnings of an idea for a shanty about the local butt-end-of-March weather, which we who live here all love to hate. After 6 months of winter one wants, as Milne's Winnie the Pooh called it, "a complaining song". You get up, look out the window, and observe: it's "cloudy and cold" again today. Like yesterday. And probably tomorrow. And in July. Bleah!

Of course a bomb attack is always a surprise, but along with the usual, I had another. I realized something that I had not fully realized before: just how much I've come to care for this city and it's people. The new shanty, as begun, was mainly just bitching about our chronically lousy weather ("Maritime climate", as one enterprising travel guide called it!) But in the days following April 3, I wanted to make it into something more than that - a tribute to the city and its people.

The weather bit certainly marks this song as a "Piter" shanty. But what I really hope is that, woven in along with some lighthearted sailor humor, is a salute to the people of Saint-Petersburg: the city that the might of Nazi Germany failed to bring down, the people who spontaneously rallied city-wide in the face of another attack to make sure their fellow citizens were able to get home on April 3.

These are people who, although it be cloudy and cold today, tomorrow and forever, will always up anchor and set sail anyway, dammit!


Original Song Lyrics

Song art imageCloudy and Cold, Cloudy and Cold
It’s our weather today, and when we'll be old
But damned if we all be not mariners bold
So we sail when it's Cloudy and Cold
Heave up the anchor, boys, let us away
Under skies that be Cloudy and Cold

We heard tell of latitudes where they say you
Can see a great light in the sky
What turns the billows a right lovely blue
That falls on and dazzles yer eye
But us, we ain't never sailed there
Sky above us is cloudy and gray
Just like it will be tomorrow
And just like it was yesterday
So heave up the anchor and let us away
Under skies that be cloudy and cold

We’ve heard tell of islands where yer can flop
Under palm trees all warm in the sand
Where the damsels they don’t wear nothin' on top
And their bottoms by the sea breeze is fanned
But us, we ain't never sailed there
We just looks at each other all day
Just like we’ll be doin' tomorrow
And like we all done yesterday
 So heave up the anchor and let us away
Under skies that be cloudy and cold

We’ve heard there’s land where all sailors is rich
And they never be a-wantin' for rum
And the skipper’s a friendly old sonofabitch
Who always will pour fer them some
But us, we ain't never sailed there
On the ocean our throats is all dry
Sahara was they all day yesterday
And likely will be 'til we die
So heave up the anchor and let us away
Under skies that be cloudy and cold

Cloudy and Cold, Cloudy and Cold
It’s our weather today, and when we'll be old
But damned if we all be not mariners bold
So we sail when it's Cloudy and Cold - SO
Heave up the anchor, boys, let us away
Under skies that be Cloudy and Cold

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So heave up the anchor, boys, let us awaaaaay---
Under skies that be cloudy and cold!

© 2017 Robert Palomo


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