1. Ghost Man

From the recording Free To Grow

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This was written after a trip to the British Columbia coast and inspired by a combination of history of first contact, aboriginal folklore, and watching craftsman carve and sell miniature totem poles. The DADGAD guitar tuning is one Jeff learned from playing Stan Rogers music and the 1778 reference ("far from Halifax pier") is an attempt to pay homage to Stan (listen to Barrett's Privateers). Nice coincidence that 1778 was the year that Captain Cook landed in Nootka Sound. At the time, Jeff had purchased a bamboo flute and needed to write a song in the right key to use it.


© Jeff Patch SOCAN

They call him "Wild Man of the Woods" a spirit and a ghostly thing
Lurking and stalking through the forest while he's planting ghostly trees
Oh no dear, no don't you touch them or a ghost you will be
Don't be like those who met the devil ships and then caught their disease

Alone on the Nootka shore there was a man who walked so proud
On his head he wore a wooden mask that was coloured bright and loud
Out to sea a whale was seen with harpoons in it tall as trees
He climbed into his dugout canoe and paddled out, what did he see?

Captain Cook came ashore from his tall ship from the South Seas
Searching for a Northwest Passage going from the west to the east
Oh the year was 1778, but it was far from Halifax pier
Russians, Americans. Spanish, the English made claims to the land so dear

And now the Ghost Man's children sell trinkets by the sea
Carving hand held images they used to cut in tall trees
Look for the Raven, the Wolf, the Thunderbird, they all can be seen
And look for the Wild Man of the Woods, a Ghost Man he'll be

Ghost Man, Ghost Man, Ghost Man