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Talk Like A Pirate Day - Sept 19


gcoover
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Ahoy mateys, September 19th be the official international day to "talk and play concertina like a pirate"!

 

(And pay ye no mind of the obvious anachronism).

 

Yo ho!

 

Different folks have different perspectives:

I mentioned this to a Danish friend, a retired ship's engineer (and fellow shanty singer) whose travels have taken him along the coast of Somalia, among many other places. He is not amused. He finds nothing fun, much less romantic, about "those gangs of thieves and murderers"... not even in the form of the currently popular parody-stereotype of plunderers of ages past.

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Apparently those "gangs of thieves and murderers", in the period around 1700, when most of Europe was in the grip of Absolutism, actually founded what we would call democratic states on islands in the Caribbean. At least the usual hierarchical structures on board ship were often replaced by a model in which the captain held his position at the discretion of the crew.

 

A quote from the TV series "Dad's Army" comes to mind. Captain Mainwaring says of Private Frazer (an ex-RN seaman), "Better watch him! A Bolshie lot, these Jack Tars!"

 

If the pirates had had concertinas, they would most likely have been the proletatian German or Anglo-German models. But most likely they played the fiddle and the cittern.

 

Cheers,

John

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