Great Big Sea Sonnets

Over the years I have this little problem with iambic pentameter periodically escaping me. My fandom for Great Big Sea was no exception to this!

“The Bob Effect”

It took me ages to come up with a decent sonnet for Bob, in no small part because I couldn’t figure out quite exactly how to capture the idea that he could play music on everything from socket wrenches to lawn mowers in iambic pentameter. However, I did finally come up with this, which I posted to the OKP on 5/9/2006.

St. John’s town gives to us Miz Hallett’s son,
A gent of few words armed with fiddle and bow,
Taped-up bouzouki and whistle–what fun!
And his accordions all in a row.

In his two hands all his instruments sing,
With skill, precision, and masterful flare;
Doyle may be front man, but Bob is the king
Of chords and rhythms no others would dare

Play on such myriad things that resound
With song! Yes, even the most everyday
Objects, like wrenches or forks, can be found
To turn at Bob’s bidding and joyously play.

In Great Big Sea songs, the musical art
Shines forth with Hallett, whose notes are the heart!

“To the Shirts of Séan McCann”

This one was quickly hammered out on 9/25/03, after a thread on in which I re-posted Alan’s sonnet below and got promptly begged for a sonnet about Séan’s shirts. Especially a rather… impressive paisley one. As I’d been trying to figure out what to put in a sonnet for Séan, that little inspiration was all I needed. ;)

O Newfoundland lad of infinite breath,
For rousing shanties you’re duly renowned–
But your fans wonder, to intricate depth,
If with your garments you seek to astound!

Did Jackson Pollock spill paint on your chest?
Did you collide with rogue barrels of dye?
At ev’ry concert your singing’s the best;
But your show wardrobe’s a jolt to the eye!

Still, don’t mistake us; whatever the clothes
You choose to have on while touring the land
Are more than okay for each fan who knows
Your drumming’s top-notch and your voice is grand!

For Mr. McCann are these just desserts;
Dimples and bodhrans: sure cure for the Shirts!

“Ode to the Hair of Alan The Doyle”

All of the lasses in all of the lands
Sing out the legend and tale and refrain
Of the long, lively and vigorous strands
On top of Newfoundland’s most impish swain!

For lo, when he sings, his tresses of brown
Fly port and starboard, to fore and to aft,
Make his head gambol and caper around,
Till it must seem that the lad is quite daft–

As it’s a most vexing and baffling choice
For us who hark to the bard debonair;
We’d like to pay proper heed to his voice,
But we’re bewitched by the dance of his hair!

To make us ponder, must sure be the plan,
On which is master–the hair or the man?