Ghost Squid

By Alice Winship

Ghost Squid, blue. Art by Anne Tyler
Ghost Squid art by Anne Tyler

Chorus: Ghost Squid!
            They haunt my dreams and I can’t sleep
            Ghost Squid!
            Those slimy devils of the deep
            Their psychic ink has fogged my brain
            The thoughts I have are quite insane
            If I do wrong it’s them to blame
            Those Ghost Squid! Ghost Squid.

Some fear the ship on an endless trip
The Flying Dutchman’s doom
One glimpse of those pale and tattered sails
And you’re bound for a watery tomb
My fate is worse
For I’ve been cursed
By Ghost Squid!


Some shake and quail when they hear the tale
Of that boat on the final shore
The ferryman old and the river cold
And you never come back, no more
My fate is worse
For I’ve been cursed By Ghost Squid!


I see you laugh and you think I’m daft
But your laugh will turn to pain
When you see black mist and you feel the twist
Of tentacles in your brain
Your fate is worst
You’ve all been cursed
By Ghost Squid!



I want to thank my friends, the Great Sanger and Didele, for bringing the squid theme to my mind as I was trying to compose a spooky sea song. Not that they should be blamed for this. Like many of my songs, I began composing this on a Greyhound bus. I was inspired by the fellow sitting across the aisle from me. I am always a little envious, as I sense I could be more mentally disturbed than anyone if I merely relaxed that internal grip we all maintain in public.

Decopods have eight arms and two tentacles. Way too many, and they’re all tentacles to me. They can break off and grow back their arms, but not their tentacles. I won’t tell you about male squid tentacles; you don’t want to think about it here.

The squid most commonly found along Northwest coast is the Pacific Squid (Loligo opalescens), also known as Opalescent Squid, Market Squid, or simply ‘calamari’. They average 8 inches long and are a mottled, opalescent purple-brown color.

Recent years have seen an invasion from southern waters of the giant Humoldt Squid, Dosidicus gigas, (aka diablo rojo, the Red Devils), up to six feet long and 70 pounds, with a nasty bite. These voracious hunting packs will eat anything, but especially like fish. Alternatives to protect our already dwindling salmon runs: 1) Reverse global warming or 2) Eat the giant squid. They might be coming to your supermarket soon. Orcas also like to eat Humboldt squid, but there are not very many orcas, and there are a lot of us.


  • Written by: Alice Winship
  • Arranged by: William Pint & Felicia Dale
    • Introduction: Alice Winship
    • William Pint: guitar, octave mandolin, cittern, lead and harmony vocal
    • Felicia Dale: hurdy-gurdy, harmony vocal

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