The Albatross

Malvina Reynolds, the "Muse of Parker Street," has long been a commentator on the American social and political scene, and her songs are known the world around. We first sang THE ALBRATROSS in 1972 at a concert tribute to Malvina, a program of her songs performed by members of the Pick'n' and Sing'n' Gather'n' of Albany, NY and thereabouts. She considers it to be one of her best songs. So do we.

It is an ancient mariner, who stoppeth one of three
He killed the blessed Albatross when he was out to sea
And the guilt it hangs around his neck, the same as you and me
Poor old sailor who shot the gentle bird.

I don't know why he shot him, the silly gooney duck
But if you shoot an Albatross, you sure are out of luck
For forever ever after it will hang around your neck
Poor old sailor who shot the gentle bird.

I also wear the Albatross, the bird of guilt I bear
I shafted my best buddy, in a moment of despair
And the guilt is always with me, in my dreams and everywhere
Poor old sailor who shot the gentle bird.

But those that kill their thousands with napalm in the street
They live a good respected life and sleep an easy sleep
They'd never shoot an Albatross, it isn't good to eat
Poor old sailor who shot the gentle bird.

So never kill the gooney bird, or knife your loving kin
And never burn a single soul, make sure it's more than ten
And never do a stick up, but gouge the world of men
And leave bad dreams to sailors who kill the gentle bird.

© Golden Hind Music