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The Flying Dutchman

Always loved this incredibly romantic story and at the time, Phil Ochs had set a couple of classic poems to music, The Bells and the Highwayman, both of which I really loved. So I gave this a try.  You can hear the iconic music from Wagner’s opera stuck in just before the last chorus.





Once long ago, a ship did sail

Around the cape she was bound

But the storms of fate raged all that day

And tried to bring the good ship down

The Dutchman kept his crippled wreck

Afloat all night above the brine

And swore upon the ruined deck

That he’d cross the cape if it took all time


The Devil heard the Dutchman swear

His defiance of heaven above

And cursed him in his pride to sail the oceans wide

‘til he found a woman’s love

And so he sailed the seven seas

And every seven years he’d port

His blood sails folded in the breeze

To find the woman that he sought


(Cho)      Blowing in the wind and chained to the sea

On a ship that sails to eternity

Cursed by the sound of the nightwind’s wail

Forever and ever the Dutchman will sail


One night the Dutchman folded his masts

And spent the evening with the tide

And there he met a man who agreed to a plan

To sell him his daughter for his bride

Though a hunter’s love she’d long embraced

That hunter’s wife she’d never be

For she caught one glimpse of the Dutchman’s face

And fell in love with the slave of the sea


But when the Dutchman saw how her heart

Tacked so freely on a whim (he thought)

If from that hunter she’d so easily part

Would she not do the same to him

And as he rowed back on his skiff

Not knowing the love in her heart that did dwell

Into the waves from high on a cliff

A young girl’s body gently fell




And now when winds storm in the skies

And blackened waters stir up fast

Up through the waves a ship will slowly rise

With a Dutchman standing high upon the mast

And in his arms there clings a girl

Her sea-soaked hair blowing in the breeze

Forever more these two will sail

Across the endless seven seas