Pirates vs. Dragons: Air Superiority


Day 2 of captivity by the air pirateĀ Capt. Black Jack Murphy and the Irish Stout leaves me wondering what makes an airship. I try to explain the types that I've discovered during my trip. You can find out more about Dragons vs. Pirates through my Kickstarter at celticmusic.org/DragonsVsPirates.

Day 2. It was only yesterday that I was shanghaied, but I am finding my “air legs”.

When Murphy and I were recording Pogue Mahone Means Kiss My Arse several years back, we took a trip to the Gulf Coast. Murphy “rented” a boat and took me out on the ocean to get a feel for the rhythm behind the sea shanties we were recording. That was miserable. I found out that I am not a good sailor. I was seasick the whole time. It was just awful. Still, I did get a feel for the music.

Flying above the clouds is completely different. I miss my family, but I also wish they were here. They would love this as much as I do. Flying through and above the clouds is incredible. I've been on airplanes before but an airship is just so fantastic. You feel the wind on your face, blowing through your hairā€”something that would be terrifying on an airplane is exhilarating with the deck of a good airship beneath your feet.

I'm told, there are several types of airship, and the IRISH STOUT is definitely not what I usually think of. Some airships are basically like blimps, with huge balloon-like envelopes full of gas. Others use multiple hot air balloons to lift. But the IRISH STOUT is a third type…it seems to stay aloft by magic or something. Murphy keeps the sails unfurled, just like at sea, but they catch a lot more wind with no land to shape the breezes. Still, the ship weighs several tons, so what is keeping it flying?

I have noticed a fine, sparkling dust covering the deck and rails. It is mostly gold, but there are flecks of silver, green, red, and blue mixed through it. I've managed to scrape samples of it into a little bag I found in a corner of the hold. When I get home, I will have it analyzed. I am wondering if it might be the source of the magic that holds us up. If it is, what is it made of? Where does it come from? Wondering about what it is keeps my mind off home…at least part of the time.

I haven't seen any dragons yet, but I am keeping my eyes peeled. Although I have written songs about dragons, and performed even more, I have never actually caught more than a distant glimpse of one. I have always wanted to see a real dragon up close…