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Jan Bart
Last updated: 22.01.22
Jan Bart, which can be heard on Seeräuber Report, came into my repertoire at the behest of Manfred Eichholz of the The Vegesack Whalermen. The song was written by Heinz Gietz (music), Fritz Graßhoff (lyrics) and sung by Anne Meek.
The song celebrates Jean Bart (1650-1702) who was a French naval commander and privateer born in Dunkirk. Although when young having served with the Dutch Navy but unable to obtain a commission due to humbleness of his birth, he became the scourge of Holland and her navy taking hundreds of the ships.
His birth name being Jan Baert it is almost certain that he spoke Frisian so it is fitting that the lyrics are in Low German (Platt) a related language,
The song is of an individual, presumably female, encouraging Jan Bart to come aboard to share adventures, riches, "Ein Finger zum Feuern" (please translate/interpret that for yourselves dear surger), a cosy bunk and the possibility of either wearing a crown or an iron collar.
I have often performed this song with my concertina together with Nina Kreft who sang it beautifully. My part was also to growl "Steig ein" which was on occasions not well appreciated.
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