Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Ballad O' Anne Rackham

Ahoy, me hearties! Shiver me timbers, but a fine, good day fer sailin' this be! The briny deep's a-callin', so come join me Brethren O' the Coast, set the sails and sharpen yer cutlasses fer plunderin' (and killin' bilge rats)! T'is a bit of a journey, so pour some grog and listen up as I regale ye with the Ballad O' Anne Rackham, me namesake:


Draw nigh me hearties and I'll tell ye the tale
o' plunder and love, o' fortune and fame.
This be the tale o' the pirate Anne Rackham.
This be the woman whence comes me name.

In the county o' Cork, in Ireland fair,
to a man and his mistress a young lass was born.
Away to America, these illicit young lovers,
went with wee Anne to escape spite and scorn.

At the tender, young age of only thirteen
t'is said our dear Anne first wielded the blade.
A servant displeased her with unkind remark
and was stabbed in the gut, the unfortunate maid!

A scurrilous rogue, the sailor James Bonny,
met and married dear Anne when she was sixteen.
But Calico Jack Rackham, a true buccaneer,
soon caught Anne's eye and they departed the scene.

Now, wenches were barred from sailin' the deep-
considered bad luck by a true buccaneer.
So Anne dressed like a man, and swore like one too
and her fightin' and plunderin' filled hearts with fear!

As luck would have it, one fellow discovered
Anne's true identity, and threatened to tell.
So she ran the rogue through without hesitation
and sent the man down to a watery hell.

Many a year did Anne and Jack sail,
pillagin' and livin' a life on the deep.
Their exploits were legend, their treasures were many
then fate took a twist, one to make a man weep!

Our lovers crossed paths with one Captain John Barnet
they crossed swords as well and fought a brave fight.
Alas, sweet victory was not theirs this battle
and their ship, crew and pride were lost on that night.

When Anne had been captured, her belly she pled -
for she was carryin' the babe of Calico Jack.
The courts would not hang a woman with child
and so to the jail, Anne was sent back.

Before he was hung Jack was privileged to see
his beloved wench Anne who had this to say,
"If ye'd fought like a man, you'd not hang like a dog!"
Fine parting words on a man's dying day!

Some say Anne went back to her home in Carolina,
and married again, bearin' many a child.
Some say she ran off and found a new ship
and continued her pillagin' and livin' so wild.

Methinks at the end of her hail, hearty life,
somewhere down below in the briny, blue deep
she cast off her life, and all of her treasures,
and in Davy Jones locker does Anne Rackham sleep.

- Red Anne, aka Significant Snail-

(This fine portrait o' Anne Rackham was reproduced from an early woodblock, edited and colorized by BlindKat Publishers)


Scaramouche Jones said...

She sounds like just the sort of lady I could take home to Mum.. :D

Today's Friday Fact is Pirate related to celebrate the day.

Scaaaaaahhr!amouche :D

Significant Snail said...

Arrr...welcome me hearty, and thanks for spreadin' the word!

RisibleGirl said...

I've been talkin' like a pirate at work all day- well, in writing (since I'm working from home today). I'm pretty sure my co-workers are getting a little tired of it.

That's not stopping me though.

MJ said...


(Translation: Have a good weekend and happy talk like a pirate day!)

Significant Snail said...

Risible: good job, lass - kill them with yer piratey kindness!

MJ: AAaarrrr to ye too!

Marti said...

What a grand poem! Thanks for stopping by, and may many treasures be yours!

ElderSisPirate said...

yarrr!!!! ye be doing piratey poetry over here, me hearties!!!

I was talkin' like a pirate most of the day....

Significant Snail said...

Marti: A hearty thanks to ye fer stoppin' in!

ESA: arrr, piratey poetry...who'd a thought?!!