The Tale Of Richard Forsyth

by Ross Mayhew



Ross Mayhew Presents: The Tale Of Richard Forsyth.



this is a story from 1665
a time when pirates ruled the seven tides
and the man who would soon become
the most feared pirate and his ship still sails on

this story starts before that time began
when he was a humble, honest, hard-­working man
with a wife, his one true love
on an island not mapped on any chart

Richard Forsyth was a calm, well-spoken man
always doing good whenever he could
although he had behind him a tale so sad
one of sorrow, heartache and pain

when he was a young boy just at the age of ten
his town was raided by sea dwelling men
he lost both his parents to a pirates blade
under the order of Captain Firebeard's command

Captain Firebeard is the most feared on the seas
a ship made of bones and a heart dark as the night
soulless eyes and a crew of dammed men
Richard had to hide as his town was burned away

Richard and a few others had managed to survive
so come the next day they began to rebuild their lives
through the years the town grew and grew
and at 22 Richard met his sweet Marie

Marie was the daughter of the new blacksmith in town
growing Richard was a baker boy doing well
their hearts met under the starry night sky
as the island celebrated another year passing by

the nightmare of his youth was washed with the waves
the turning of the tide gave him reason to smile
he and Marie were married in the spring
and oh what joy their wedding day did bring


but these happy moments were sadly not to last
for from the horizon a ship crept to the shore
atop the island where the church did stand
the warning came, Firebeard had returned

the black winds of death had blown their way once more
and the island could never match the pirates force
there was precious little time to run or hide
the gangplank came down and all hell broke loose

hundreds of pirates once again stormed the town
murdering those who would dare to stand their ground
Richard's wife Marie crossed their path
and was struck down right in front of Richards eyes

in a blind rage he went to defend her
but was knocked down, out cold for the night
when he came too the town was a blaze
his wife's body laid lifeless in the road

it was all a haze and his rage grew and grew
Richard couldn't take the pain deep in his heart
he let out a cry and he held his lost love
said softly "farewell my angel bride"


before the sun had taken its place in the top of the sky
Richard set sail, revenge firmly in mind
he couldn't rest a day until he had sent
Captain Firebeard to the locker of Davy Jones

as quick as he could he sailed a boat out to sea
docked in the biggest town to see what he could see
get himself a crew and a bigger ship too
set sail for the open ocean, do what he had to do

the only trouble was Captain Firebeards ship
was very rarely seen, aside from when it attacked
so Richard prepared to step across the line
loot and plunder and until the time was right

he knew straight away that he couldn't get his way
he must learn his trade and master the blade
he must become what he hates to take it down
become the most feared man on the seven seas

so onward he went through the rolling tide
storming towns to ease the pain inside
the memory still fresh of the attacks on his town
where he lost both his parents and a wife who was with child

some years later in a port in Mexico
he heard of a lost treasure with the power of the gods
he already had all the gold he could hold
now he was after something that gave him a little more

this sure was the greatest ever treasure
unknown who it was who had laid it to rest
it held a legend that those who dug it up
would be placed in an undead voodoo force

after many failed journeys, searching on and on
It seemed that this treasure would never be found
till the day he came across some mermaids
who gladly showed Richard the way


now you might wonder why the mermaids were so kind
well it's because Richard had fought on their side
they were being hunted purely for sport
Richard viewed mermaids as those with pure souls

the leader of the mermaids Queen Gabrielle
led Richard to an island only found by the lost
legend had it that the god of the seas
only once a year would let the island be seen

Gabrielle had sympathy for the journey Richard was on
as her love King Derroll was taken in front of her eyes
and while she did know of the voodoo treasure
she feared using it herself would lose her her soul

they reached the island on the waves of a rising moon
she knew this was the tide on which they'd part
she gave him a kiss and softly said
"sail to the end with the words, Lir take me to the edge"

Richard wasn't sure what the whispered words meant
and he watched Gabrielle swim out of sight
the first time in years he had felt warmth
but it wouldn't stop his mission of sending Firebeard down

so now all alone on an island with no name
Richard found a chest just casually resting in a cave
inside it a bottle with a label that read
'drink me and become the living dead'

a fear of growing old was clutching to his mind
in no haste he drank what was inside
a flash of lightning and he was forever chained
to the dark tide where his soul would be left to cry


after many more years of havoc caused by his hand
this once noble man was feared in every land
his ship painted red and black would leave death in it's trail
his soul unclaimable by a mere­mortals hand

however he knew Firebeard was no ordinary man
a sword of fire could take down a voodoo man
he held no fear and was still bent on revenge
Richard Forsyth was the 'The Walking Dead Man'

his ship bared the name of his sweet long passed love
he had labelled it “Marie's Red Revenge"
the power of voodoo taken from the treasure
meant he could sail unseen in the open seas

the boats name was feared in every port in the world
despite all it had claimed there was one still at large
the killer of his wife and his parents too
the man who had sent him down this voyage of hate

he had searched every inch of every sea
but yet Firebeard was still sailing free
how had it been that he hasn't been found
perhaps the mermaids whisper meant more when said aloud?

remembering the words spoken by Gabrielle
Richard looked to the sky and shouted aloud
"Lir take me to the edge"
a gateway opened and the tide took him in

Marie's Red Revenge came through the other side
there was no land but an edge was in sight
was this the end of the world?
water fell to nowhere and his compass didn't work


and as darkness fell and mist crept on the sea
the moon shone on a ship at the edge of the world
the unmistakable vessel of the man who took his wife
Marie's Red Revenge sailed silently to it's side

the two ships were floating side by side
two feared Captains, both chained to the tide
this was the place where two devils met
one made the other but who's grave was the sea?

both crews quickly drew to the fight
cannons were fired, they and swords took many lives
both Captains stood still, looking in another's eye
anger was growing and the sea was splashing high

on to the ship of Firebeard Richard did step
desperate for revenge after years roaming the seas
their two blades met, one of fire, one of voodoo steel
a battle got underway that no one would forget

thrusting and parrying went on for an endless time
both crews were dying right there by their side
blood was all around as the Captains did duel
who would make the first mistake and perish tonight?

rain beat down as the ships rocked on the waves
Captain Firebeard slipped on the blood and the rain
in the blink of an eye his heart was struck true
The Walking Dead Man's blade had run him through

"This is for my wife, my dear sweet Marie
and for my parents, the life you took from me"
Richard spoke those words as his sword struck true
right through Captain Firebeard’s beating heart

"when tomorrow's sun rises you will be forgotten"
said Richard as his he removed his cast blade
and in the moment of his death Firebeard looked in the eye
of his killer and said "my soul is free tonight"

because like Richard many years ago
Firebeard was just another man, from another town
but he to took to the seas to ease the pain
made a deal with the gods but Richard broke that chain

and as Firebeard shut his eyes for the final time
the mist began fading and the sun to rise
the sea let out a moan, the clouds did part
a bright light shone and his ship was taken down

so quickly back to his ship Richard did go
to watch the body of enemy be taken down below
he felt neither pride or unburdened by what he'd done
he now had no quest but his ship must sail on

Captain Firebird and his ship “The Silent Reaper”
now lay forever under the waves
they used to sail the black winds of death
but now they belong to time and mythology

The Walking Dead Man is now the devil of the seas
nobody has the power to free from his chains
Marie is long dead and an angel above
a devil may never receive an angels touch

and they say to this day his ship still sails on
so far untaken and bound in a timeless hold
his heart is always aching, he carries so much pain
watch out if you see Richard Forsyth sailing your way


released March 28, 2017
Charles Peter Uppercut: Drums and Bass
Duncan Chave: Accordion
Ross Mayhew: Guitar and Vocals

Recorded at Sound Gallery Studios, Exeter
Engineer Duncan Chave
Mixed by Duncan Chave and Ross Mayhew
Words and Music by Ross Mayhew
© Leaburn Records 2017


all rights reserved



Ross Mayhew Devon, UK

Singer/songwriter from the South West of England.

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