The Infamous Anne Bonny – Female Pirate – The Music and the Mayhem – Anne Bonny Song Performance and Lyrics

So I heard this song at a Sea Shanty Festival in Sligo, Ireland. Thought it was a great song, a feisty number. It’s about the infamous female pirate “Anne Bonny” and was performed by an Irish band called “The Mutineers”. Had thought it might have been an old song but found out it was written in 2018 by a singer called “Karliene” and I’ve included the original version of the song at the bottom of this post below the lyrics. (Photo of Karliene below)

If you are interested in Pirate lore and legend there is much more information out there about male pirates. There is not too much information out there about female pirates as most pirates were male.

Anne Bonny is one of the most well known female pirates, world famous and it is thought she was born in Cork Ireland around 1700, her father a lawyer and her mother his maid. She was taken to London then lived in North Carolina where she married a poor sailor and small time pirate called James Bonny and moved to the Bahamas.

While there she frequented taverns and mingled with pirates and met John “Calico Jack” Rackham who became her lover and who she subsequently ran off with becoming a member of his crew. She and another female pirate Mary Read dressed as men to hide their true identities.

In 1720 the crew was attacked by the British Navy and they were imprisoned in Jamaica. The crew were too drunk to put up a fight and the two ladies held out as long as they could but were overpowered. The crew were sentenced to be hanged. Apparently Anne Bonny’s last words to Calico Jack were… “Had you fought like a man you need not have been hanged like a dog”.

After sentencing the two women “pleaded their bellies”. As they were pregnant they were not immediately executed but allowed to give birth in prison. Read died in prison it is thought most likely from a fever from childbirth. What happened to Anne Bonny is disputed. Some think she also died in prison, others that she reverted to her pirate lifestyle.

She was apparently a feisty character with a hot temper, a fighting spirit and flame coloured hair. She was thought to be “a good catch” and a match for any of the men she sailed with. She is historically renowned for being a “Pirate of the Caribbean.”

Anne Bonny Pirate - Kariline web

“Anne Bonny” by Karliene (2018) – Song Lyrics

Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny

Oh I’ll tell you a tale of a pirate queen
A she-wolf who reigned the Caribbean Sea
With a pistol-a-ready and a cutlass keen
The villainous, infamous Anne Bonny

Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny

Born in Ireland scandalously
Bastard daughter
To a prosperous lawyer
Shunned suitor and society
For the love of a pirate boy

So Calico Jack and our Anne Bonny
Passioned lovers
Villainous plunderers
Sailed off for a life of piracy
On his ship, The Revenge, Ahoy

Oh I’ll tell you a tale of a pirate queen
A she-wolf who reigned the Caribbean sea
With a pistol-a-ready and a cutlass keen
The villainous, infamous Anne Bonny

Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny

But this was the 18th century
Where men make knives
And women make wives
So Anne disguised herself to be
A deadly pirate boy

Oh she plundered and murdered and raised the sea
With canons roaring
Pistols warring
She ravaged galleons mercilessly
Oh Anne Bonny

Then a fellow pirate caught a glance
Her naked chest
A woman’s breast
So she drew her cutlass and took a stand
To be Anne the Pirate Queen

Oh I’ll tell you a tale of a pirate queen
A she-wolf who reigned the Caribbean Sea
With a pistol-a-ready and a cutlass keen
The villainous, infamous Anne Bonny

Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny

And that’s when Anne met Mary Read
A pirate siren
Female tyrant
Together they terrorised the sea
A buccaneering team

Oh they plundered and murdered and raided the sea
With cannons roaring
Pistols warring
They ravaged galleons mercilessly
Anne and Mary Read

On October 1720
Gold they struck
So the boys got drunk
An easy oppurtunity
For a ship of British marines

Anne and Mary fought alone
With cutlass flying
Pistols firing
They fought hard for their own throne
But lost their victory

And so the crew were captured
Thrown in prison
Death by hanging
But Anne Bonny was pardoned
For her belly held a child

So she paid her Jack a visit
And this she said
With no tear shed

“if you had fought like a man
you wouldn’t be about to die like a dog”

And she turned on her heel
Walked out of the door
And vanished
Into legend

Oh I’ll tell you a tale of a pirate queen
A she-wolf who reigned the Carribean sea
With a pistol-a-ready and a cutlass keen
The villainous, infamous Anne Bonny

Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny
Villainous, infamous Anne Bonny

(The video of the song I filmed in a bar on a phone so excuse the quality! )

3 thoughts on “The Infamous Anne Bonny – Female Pirate – The Music and the Mayhem – Anne Bonny Song Performance and Lyrics

  1. Yeah it’s a feisty little number. I liked this song when I heard it. 🙂 I have been in a sea sailing mood for months now. I have never heard of Black Sails! Probably because I have not had a TV in 15 years! Ha. If it’s not on Netflix I probably won’t see it. I looked up the trailer. And Ooooh it looks good. It’s not on Netflix here but is on Amazon Prime. Like to hear about good shows to watch. So Cheers. 🙂

    Like

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