One Man's Journey

It's not newly written, it's only vaguely related to a body of water, and it's not very well recorded, but I want to help Saskia get the monthly challenge working better. It's a song about the slave trade.


  1. It doesn’t fit the screen of my iPad very well. I have to go to full screen before I can close you down and then use the go back arrow to return to the mosaic page. Are you on a laptop PC? Is it ok on there?

  2. Thanks Simon. I use a laptop and an iPad, and in both cases it fits onto the screen fine if I go direct to YouTube, but seems to cut off the top and bottom if I view it on the new TisT platform. This is particularly a problem if I’ve added lyrics at the bottom of the screen, as they are now only half visible. I’m not sure why this is happening, but thanks for drawing my attention to it. Let me know if you have any suggestions (other than just positioning myself further away from the camera in future).

  3. In case anyone is interested in the words …..
    He tore them from the homesteads in the clearings
    He rounded up the very strongest men
    He had them shackled up on board together
    And he kept them there like creatures in a pen
    And if they got a sickness on the journey
    He reckoned they would be too weak to save
    Their bodies were dragged up onto the top deck
    Destined for a watery grave
    One man’s journey to disaster
    Is the other man’s triumphant game
    One is slave, the other master
    And one man’s torment is the other man’s shame.
    And when at last their fateful journey ended
    He marched survivors to the auction hall
    And there he filled his pockets with his takings
    No thought for his captives at all
    He filled his boat with a cargo of molasses
    He set sail with tobacco, rum and furs
    And he returned in triumph back in England
    With the tidiest sum in his purse
    You may ask how such a man could have existed?
    You may wonder how he could sleep at night?
    Did he see that he’d created a disaster?
    Or did he just think that might is right?
    Don’t imagine that this scourge is over
    Don’t believe this evil’s in the past
    Can we ever rid the world of subjugation?
    And end the blight of slavery at last

  4. Good dipiction of the evils of slavery. Challenging and important topic and a good song.
    I know people don’t do critque on here but since I wish they did a it more… I think it would be even more powerful if you made the slaves and the slave owner individuals with a bit more personalisation back store and even names. Just a thought that could make a really good song great.

    1. Thanks for your comments Andy. I take your point about personalising the slave and slave owner. I originally wrote it for a local folk club song competition, when the theme was ‘Triumph and Disaster’, and I’d more or less put the song to bed, but I may take another look at it with your comments in mind.

  5. Quality song as usual Paul with those lovely bluesy undertones. I like Andy’s comment however about naming the main characters and have actually done that with one of mine and mine feels to me, so much more alive. Great work again though and a very relevant story today.