The Ballad of Norman Collins

from by Holy Moly

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"Norman Collins was a damn elemental force in the tattooing industry. Moving and changing as little as possible, he did one of the most powerful things he could--he held fast. Like the Rock of Gibraltar, he was the rock of the industry. A living example of what would become known as “traditional tattooing,” he was the earthly embodiment of tradition. Tradition he loved and he lived, always shaking a fist at the new hippie tattoo movements. Good for you Sailor Jerry! Cheers to you Hori Smoku!!"

-Troll
Creator of ALL Holy Moly’s artwork
Owner of Salty Dog Tattoo Shopp
www.saltydogtexas.com

lyrics

The history of the skin
This sailor’s story of blood begins
In the year nineteen one and one
Born in a gambling desert town
N’ere an ocean to be found
He sailed the seas before the war begun

He sailed the seas of memories
Life weathered by a salty breeze
And in the skin the story would be told
He grabbed the ink and the colors flew
With red and white but mostly blue
In a sailor’s flesh a legend would be told
In a sailor’s flesh a legend would unfold

Sailors stewed, hookers screwed, while Norman Collins learned tattoo

He earned the name of Sailor Jerry
When he learned truth wasn't buried
And in his pride he’d find is only wealth
He drilled the truth into the flesh
That's where he earned our true respect
He said with pride my work speaks for itself
He said with pride my work speaks for itself

Sailors stewed, hookers screwed, while Norman Collins learned tattoo

He never wanted any fame
But he was famous just the same
Even though he never called for it
If he were alive today
We'd hear that sailor legend say
“How’d I get myself into this shit?”
“How’d I get myself into this shit...”

Sailors stewed, hookers screwed, while Norman Collins learned tattoo

credits

from Brothers' Keepers, released December 3, 2013

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