"Black Sails" by Hqrry Nilsson


When asked if he ever wrote songs to order, Harry Nilsson replied: "Recently I wrote one for Derek Taylor. A friend of his, his father was producing a movie with Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan and asked if I would write a tune for it. It was a pirate movie and they said they wanted a zany, wacky, wonderful kind of yucko song y'know-a sort of blues blood ballad. He said 'Y'know, the kind you write.' I said 'oh', then 'OK.' I delivered exactly that, it's called 'Black Sails in the Moonlight,' it's on this album, Pussy Cats. The irony, is that they turned it down. They sent a telegram saying 'Tape has possibilities stop.' What does that mean? So I sent them back the tape with a mellotron overdub and said 'Consider this as one of the possibilities.' Then there was a long pause of about six or eight weeks and then I got another telegram saying 'Because of directorial problems and location problems the movie isn't turning out the way we planned it. Consequently the song doesn't fit in.' So I said OK, I'll use it on the album. Nothing gets wasted." -- Harry Nilsson


Black sails in the moonlight

Black patch on your eye

You shiver your timbers, baby

And I'll shiver mine

A treasure map is hidden on your legs

Your veins are very close

Someday, I'll wrap my big yardarms around your legs