What does A Salty Dog mean?

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Procol Harum: A Salty Dog Meaning


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Song Released: 1969

A Salty Dog Lyrics

"All hands on deck, we"ve run afloat" I heard the captain cry
"Explore the ship, replace the cook, let no one leave alive!"
Across the straits, around the Horn, how far can sailors fly?
A twisted path, our tortured course, and no one left...

  1. anonymous
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    Jan 10th report

    I can't accept the idea that the Captain is bonkers because he overcomes the lofty peaks and bold fortresses. The song starts by losing the narrator's identity as part of the crew "we sailors", clearly there's an epic journey which starts and ends with the Captain's cry and triumphal arrival somewhere out of time-no mortal place at all. Who is this enigmatic figure?
    Surely,allusions apart, this is not just about sex or drugs or pirates, the whole scale is far too majestic.

  2. anonymous
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    Dec 1st report

    The lyrics suggest to me that the captain has gone completely raving mad but, such is his power over his devoted and loyal crew, his men have followed him gladly even into madness and self-destruction.

  3. anonymous
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    Aug 19th 2021 report

    This song’s lyrics are an extended metaphor containing the meaning of life itself….
    We are all lone sailors
    We all derive meaning from emotions
    We all sail a tortured course
    At the end we scuttle the ship and make landfall
    And reminisce about the peak emotions we’ve felt

  4. anonymous
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    May 3rd 2020 report

    Keith Reid long struggled with heroin addiction. A salty dog was the addict's code for an injection of salt administered to a heroin overdose.

  5. anonymous
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    Jan 12th 2014 report

    I dont think there is much of a story here but it I think the song makes a statement that even tho Pirates have been given a bad name in history and rightly so, they were extremely brave men, master sailors and fighters and had tremendous courage to venture into the unknown seas without any training or backing like the British Navy sailors had. They sailed the unchartered seas, survived & conquered for over a hundred years using their own skills that they learned themselves. I would say that is quite an accomplishment for a bunch of salty dogs.

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