Archive for the 'Taverns' Category

On Being Sent a Bum Steer


‘Tis mighty strange and portentous tidings I bring ye today. For, while we have been out to sea this last month and more, the seas were so becalmed that I did believe that I would have naught to tell in the taverns on our return to port.

All changed on our very first night in port. We had sailed in, as is our habit, under cover of an overcast night sky, keeping the Black Jack hidden even from the light of the moon.

The first mate was sent ashore, to confirm that the bumbling but deadly fleet of Admiral Sodot of the Royal Navy had not captured the port. ‘Twas close to midnight when the Cabin Boy did knock on my Cabin Door to tell me that the Watch needed me above decks. I had been a-soaking my wooden teeth in brandy, to kill the worms. But I had to cram my mouth with them as I went, for I knew that if the Mate had returned with fell news we would have to weigh anchor at once.

But above decks, the Mate wasn’t to be seen. Instead, walking up the gangplank was a long-horned steer. Pirates are masters of the sea, but less sure of the Landlubber ways of livestock. I approached with cutlass drawn, my eyes carefully watching the points of those horns for any sign of treachery.

It was the Cabin Boy who first saw the writing. Branded across the side of the the cow-



That final piece carried on around onto the far side of the cow.

The steer is even now cooking in pieces below decks and the men are looking forward to a change from hard tack and rum and lime mixers. But I am troubled this night.


Rough Night in Ron’s

Y’earr, tis a right ol’ state I’m in, as you join me in me Sloop a few leagues south o’ Villahermosa. Though I consider meself as tough an old sea dog as ever went a’sail, I were lucky to escape with me life from a run-in in Ron’s tavern in Tortuga, home port of the dread pirate Major Twenty.

It all started well, mind. I arrived into Ron’s with me lusty crew in tow, and encountered the dread Major Twenty a-suppin’ at a pot of that filthy black Irish beer he insists on drinkin’. I bade a hello to him and his first mate Stinking Pete. I ordered a tot o’ rum and settled in to listen to the Major tell one o’ his interminable tales. “What class o’ shaggy dog story is this?” asked one o’ me crew. “Whisht”, I bade him, “The Major’s tales are hit and miss, but you never know when he might come up with a funny one”

Alas, it seems this was one of his off-days. “Oh noes”, I groaned, “he’s a-holdin’ forth about the ills of society” I usually don’t bother listenin’ when he’s in this kind o’ mood, but so full was the tavern with reprobates o’ the seas, that it seemed as if the whole o’ the piratesphere was in there listenin to ‘im. Hangin’ on his every word they were too, and remarking “Legend”, even when the old dog wasn’t being all that funny. T’is the same in piracy; if you get a reputation for fearsomeness, the lubbers will be afear’t of ye, even when you’re not being very scary.

“Padophiles are scum. Someone should just come out and say that. I fucking hate them” he said, to a great roar of approval from the hearties o’ the piratesphere. “arr Twenty, you legend”, said one o’ his cronies, “tis a true thing you say, and a brave one. T’is the terribly edgy and controversial buccaneer you are”. “I don’t give a fuck, I’ll say anything, for I am the dread pirate, Major Twenty”, he replied. “I also hate people who murder their wives” “Bad parents are also not good!” said another, to a huge roar of approval, and another, “that feller who locked his kids in the basement in Austria is a bad sort too, an’ I don’t care if it’s not Piratically Correct to say so.”

I groaned, for it seemed that there would be no entertainment in Ron’s for us tonight. This went on for some time, with the company each denouncing bad things, then slappin’ each other on the back for havin the balls to point out the bleedin’ obvious. I was about to head out to a wenchin’ house when I heard a sharp few words from Buck the ‘lubber that stuck in me craw. Buck is one o’ Twenty’s cronies, though there are many who say he’s more like an imitator, but with a smaller crew and no doubloons. Certainly, ’tis true that he lacks any o’ the wit of the Major. Maybe t’was the rum, but me blood was up from a hearin‘ some o’ what Buck had to say. I stopped an turned on me heel, for the true pirate crew is open to all races and creeds. We care not from where you hail, or to whom you pray, so long as you are the scum of the earth and devoid of any scruple or shame. “Aye Buck, if that is your real name” I said, “t’is the fearless pirate y’are when me dozen romany crewmen aren’t in the place. But they’re stout men and true, damn me if I don’t swear ‘pon’t.”

Then, as suddenly as he’d come bravely forth from the crowed, the ‘lubber was back amongst them, and never have I seen such a pitiful sight. “Freedom o’ speech! Freedom o’ speech!” he kept a-parroting, like a, er, parrot. “Aye” said I “the laws of the sea guarantees us both that we can say what we like. So stop squealing like a such a blasted child, just because a True Pirate doesn’t like what ye say!”. But I don’t think he was listenin’, for he kep a sayin’ “Freedom o’ speech, I’ll a-say what I like, you can’t stop me!” even though I never tried to stop him. “What’s wrong with giving offense?” he finally said, and I honestly think he didn’t know the answer, for as I’ve said, his cargo bay isn’t exactly overstuffed with wits.

I’d had about enough, and reached for me sword sayin’ “I’m as free as you Buck – free to call you a whey-faced poltroon and a cabin-boy in pirates clothin’!” I was sure I had the crowd on me side, for ‘tis bad form in pirate circles to be seen whingin’ like a baby the way Buck was. You take your licks and get on with it, here in the Piratesphere. I was wrong. The mob were turnin’ nasty, and they chased me out the door o’ Ron’s and down to the harbour, where I was lucky to get away with me hide. Back in the Tavern, the Major was the only one not to have joined the mob. He was behind the bar, stealin’ as many bottles of rum as he could carry back to his boat.

The Threat of the Libertasians

A cruel hand we have had of it here at t’Irish Pirate Review betimes. We were becalmed in the Doldrums, a foul part of the ocean where the fell wind abandoned its loyalist adherants. We drifted for days in the most feared latitudes upon the waves. So desperate for progress that we had to throw overboard all our booty, every scrap of weight, to give a chance of picking up the slightest breeze.

T’were a dark moment, but we even had to force our horses, fine Arabian Stallions all, to meet a watery grave in Davy Jones’ Locker.

We lost three crew before getting into port- two to the scurvy when the lime juice ran out and one who we keelhauled when he was found drunk on another man’s rum ration.

But even a voyage like that was as nothing to the shock I recieved when I first perused the news-sheets back in port. Sipping a lime juice and rum (through a straw due to the scurvy taking all me teeth) I see that the Treaty, signed by the Great Landlubber Powers in the Port o’Lisbon has drawn out of the rotton wood planking as foul a bunch o’Landlubbers as ever has been gathered.

While the full Pirate analysis of this Treaty must wait for a deeper treatment, ’tis important to say early on that the threat posed by these self-styled Libertasians to the Pirateist project should not be underestimated. While others may argue that it is the major elected factions of the Landlubber classes we ought to focus upon, and not worry too much about the vanity projects of merchants and financiers, I call NAY!

For alone amongst the Landlubbers, the Libertasians recognise that their true enemy is the Pirate. While we sail on, forgotten and ignored by the larger factions, Libertasians recognise the challenge we pose to their beliefs, ideas and way of life.

To defeat us, they have stolen our garments. They speak of free-trade (something every smuggler is wedded to). They wish to see Ireland placed above all the Landlubber Powers. Well, is that not the great goal of the Irish Pirating Project?

But be warned, Libertasians are Landlubbers through and true. They have all their own teeth and shun the smack of the salty brine in their beards. Indeed, many of them don’t even have beards.

Libertasians may look to the unwary eye like a combination of buffoons and scamps unfit to be pressganged as cabin boys. But ’tis behind that facade of absurdity that their great plan hides. What that plan may be we can but speculate pointlessly and at great length.

We shall return to the Treaty of Lisbon at a later moon. For now, we just urge all Pirates to be ‘ware!

Yo Ho Ho!



It was one o’them weekends that just wouldn’t end, and it’s only now that I’m feeling the better of it, to tell you of me exploits since Friday eventide.

Me and a fine gaggle of me brothers o’ the sail, Black Bart Roberts, L’Ollonais, and their men sailed into Port Morne at sunset and there was ne’er a wink o’ sleep to he had till dawn, as we drank and wenched the night through, for our life is much more interestin’ than yours.

Shiver me timbersies!

On Saturday we hauled anchor and made our way to Trinidad where me old pal Stede Bonnett was to have revels at a new tavern and sea-shanty venue which you haven’t been to because it hasn’t even opened yet. On the way we nearly came a cropper courtesy of the pirate hunter Captain Kidd. He pursued us for half the day, and fired many’s the volley o’ shot at us, but we eluded his scurvey grasp in the end, although I did catch some grape-shot on the left side o’me face. Owsies!! Piratin’ is a dangerous life, and a more excitin’ one than yours.

We arrived safely in Trinidad and had tots o’rum with me dread pirate rivals and BPFF’s (Best Pirate Friends Forever) Jean Lafitte and Henry Morgan before going to Stede’s place for jugs of ale with lime (for the avoidin’ o’ the scurvey). The sea-shanties were intense, maties!

On Sunday we went west to Santa Marta, and spent the day eatin’ far too much hard tack an turtle soup in an eatin’ house near the harbour. Then me ol’ pal Edward Teach and his men arrived, and we had an all-night parrot party on the beach, for we do be such notoriously crazy pirates that we have our revels even on a Sunday night.

Splice the mainsailsies!

Since then I’ve been becalmed here just north o’ the Sargasso, staring at the stars and ponderin’ how much more dangerous and edgy the life o’ the pirate is compared to that o’ the landlubbers. But be assured maties, if you can’t be as great a reveller as me, ye can at least hear me tell you o’ me own roisterings. For I do know that ye dearly want to hear o’ them.


Listening to: Sea Shanties

Reading: Sea Charts

Drinking: Salt water, for our canteens ran dry yesterday

Pirate Or Not?

As any true Pirate will tell’ ee, there’s more to piratin’ than accessories. You have to give yourself over entirely to the Buccaneerin’ Life, an there’s nothing that gets me temper up more than seeing some class o’poltroon swaggerin’ about telling all and sundry he’s a pirate, when I know in me heart he’s never taken a cannon volley athwartships, nor steered a ship through the Sargasso Sea, that treacherous graveyard of sea-craft. But that’s me – I be a true sea-dog, and won’t be fooled by trifles. But what of ye, me readers, young folk sympathetic to the Pirate cause, but lacking in sea-farin’ expertise? Never fear, for each week, I’ll be teaching ye how to look beyond the number of parrots a feller may have on his shoulder, and determine, using in-depth pirate analysis, if he be a true Pirate or merely a follower o’ the accursed Johnny Depp.

Pirate Joyce

Now, at first glance, this feller seems as Piratey as “Calico” Jack Rackham ever was. But there’s more to it than the eye-patch. Let’s look closer, and soon X will mark the spot where we’ll dig up a chest full o’truth.


  • Kicked out of home country in disgrace
  • Trouble with the law
  • Travelled around Europe
  • Has many a rowdy tavern named after him.

Not Pirate

  • Pirates hate literary modernism. We be romantics, aye.
  • Mean to his mother. Pirates love our mothers, usually have their names tattooed on us.
  • Beard far too small.
  • Buried in Switzerland, a filthy stinkin’ landlocked country.

Conclusion: Not A Pirate

This feller may have occasionally donned the raiments of a pirate, but he had no true salt in his blood.

Join me each week as I ask “Pirate Or Not?” Next Week, Heidi Klum!

The Problem of Armchair Pirates

Arr Me Hearties!

In recent years, there has been a swing away from the tried and true traditions of Pirating towards a voguish New Piracy. Springing from the shallow portrayal of the Pirate life by the accursed Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean series of films, we have seen these New Pirates assume parts of the Pirate lore as lifestyle choices, without making the break from the Landlubber existence that every true Pirate must embrace.

These armchair Pirates may wear shirts with frills down the front and big, puffy, sleeves. They may have little pointy beards or even keep a parrot as a pet. But they are not real Pirates. By diverting people who potentially might have become real Pirates into this pale pseudo-Piracy Landlubbers have succeeded in draining vitality from the Pirate culture .

To deny that this is true is to face down reality and to spit in its eye. Adventurers and Pirates always look at the world as it truly is. We must therefore begin the difficult task of confronting this voguish New Piracy where ever and when ever we encounter it. Be it in the Taverns, by the Waterside or on a sandy beach or cove confrontation can only benefit both parties in the long run, even if it does seem uncomfortable at the time.

One of the tasks of the Irish Pirate Review must surely include the formulation of a plan of action which true Pirates can rely upon in these difficult situations. Early use of the cutlass must surely be the starting point with walking the plank as the end. But what to do between those uncontroversial actions has been the subject of much debate over ale and the breasts of wenches.

We welcome lively debate here at the Irish Pirate Review and invite our readers to suggest for themselves how best to deal with the Problem of Armchair Pirates.

Yo! Ho! Ho!

Blackbeard in Dublin Skirmish

Splice the mainsail, me hearties!

Word reaches me, here in me cabin, a few miles north o’ Tortuga, that me old’ rival in piracy, Blackbeard De Rossa got the wrong end of some young scamp’s cannon last night in the fair port o’ Dublin. Perhaps a little in-depth pirate analysis might help explain what happened:

The Great Lanlubbin’ Powers o’ Europe had some class of parley in the port o’ Lisbon some months ago. Though I spend most of me time a’seas, I know its in me own interest to keep an eye on the doin’s o’ the Great Powers, for those doin’s can have a grave effect on the livelihood of a pirate such as meself. It seems the lanlubbin’ powers have carved up the land and the seas amongst themselves. When I’m not plunderin’ and spendin’ pieces of eight on tavern wenches, I do a little smugglin’; mostly rum, tobaccy and sugar. Well now it seems the world is changed, for with this here internal free market, there just ain’t no margin in the smuggling game anymore. Well, I’m too old a salt to change, but I have to say it galls me that one I thought a worthy rival and sometimes ally on the high seas, Blackbeard, has fallen among the New Pirates.

This man, once feared on each of the Seven Seas, has taken the gold coins and fancy raiment o’ the New Pirates and their leader, the dread Johnny Depp. These New Pirates are no sea-dogs, but lackeys o’ the Great Lanlubbin’ Powers. Pirates-turned-Pirate Hunters, it’s these New Pirates who are now sailin’ all over Europe, enforcin’ this new treaty. Blackbeard has grown so comfortable and portly in Brussels (a filthy lanlubbin’ town if ever there was one) that I’ll wager he’s forgotten what its even like to feel the spray o’ the sea. So when he docked in Dublin last night, it’s no wonder he didn’t know what to expect. Oh I’ll warrant that he thought he was safe, so close to the frigate Liberty, another fine pirate ship fallen into the hands of Johnny Depp. But dammit if a young knave with the right kind o’ stuff in him didn’t sail alongsides and launch a broadside at him. Now, I’ve shared to many mugs o’ grog with Blackbeard to wish him ill, but it just goes to show that there are still a few of the right kind of pirates around, and if the New Pirates keep to their alliance with the Lanlubbin’ powers, they might yet have to flee the grape shot o’ the true pirates. We here at the IPR will be around, ye can be sure, to talk about it all at very great length.

Lash the mizzen!

Pirates v Landlubbers; An analysis of class in Ireland

Arr, Me Hearties,

If I tell ‘ee that most chroniclers hold that the Republic be a landlubber economy, you will laugh the joyless, sardonic laugh of the true sea dog. They writes in the ledgers of their counting houses that the citizens is all landlubbers with a pirate rump that exists on the margins. But even with a patch over one eye, true pirates can see better than the landlubbers with their two good ‘uns that the past fifteen years have resulted in a mere pseudo expansion of the landlubber classes.

Aye, the landlubbers claim to ‘ave more treasure. But, mark it well shipmates, they would rather spend their dubloons and pieces of eight on fabergé eggs and the infernal pottery of Josiah Wedgewood than bury it on a sun-kissed Caribbean islet in a good teak chest, 15 paces from the skeleton of a dead shipmate, or fritter it away on rum and wenches in a Barbary tavern. And they calls this “the good times”!? Worst of all, armchair pirates and the landlubbing acolytes of Johnny Depp and the New Piracy have internalised this false analysis. They pander to the delusions of the ‘new landlubbers’ but forget that, in essence, nothing has changed.

Analysis, y\'arr.

Breaking down the population by occupation, we see the following:


Sea-Dogs – 1,000,000

Ships Cooks – 25,000

Parrots – 1,500,000

Cabin Boys – 10,000

Plank-makers – 80,000

Captains – 10,000

People with Beards – 700,000

Wenches – 1,500,000

Tavern-owners – 20,000

Ships-surgeons – 1,990

Buccaneers – 150,000

Privateers – 65,000

Shanty-singers – 250

Chandlers – 3,000

TOTAL – Way more than the Landlubbers


Footmen – 1,450

Innkeepers – 500

Highwaymen – 27

Judges – 136

Horses – 10,000

David McWilliams – 1

The Spanish – 5,000

Farmers – 6,000

Schoolboys – 3,900

Ladies – 357

Potters – 200

TOTAL – Way less than the Pirates.

The analysis of the Irish Pirate Review shows that by any objective yardarm, most of these so-called ‘new landlubbers’ are actually engaged in traditional pirate occupations or in occupations which, though new, align their interests firmly with those of piracy, buccaneering and privateering off the Spanish Main.

While there be talk – y’arr, treacherous talk – of landlubber aspirations, of farming, of sending good lads to school instead of pressing them as cabin boys, ‘tis but a façade of change. P’tooh. True sea dogs know that the tyrant landlubbers will never give up their hold on Spanish gold even as they dupe armchair pirates, Johnny Depp and the so-called ‘new landlubbers’ into slavish obeisance to their land-bound ways.

These so-called ‘new landlubbers’ must ask themselves if, for all their new fangled a-doings and transpirings, they have seen even a single dubloon of Spanish gold! Nay, nay and, thrice, nay! There is only one path to the Spanish Gold and it is through the unabashed embrace of salty piracy.

Our analysis shows that the greater part of this island population is pirates whether they know it or not and whether they like it or not. Soon, we shall be all at sea, and at sea the landlubbers must be made to walk the plank. The ‘new’ landlubbers must choose. Is it to be the plank or women, rum and Spanish Gold on the Barbary Main?!

Shiver me timbers!

Parrots on the Shoulder: Outdated Seafaring Cliché or Proud Symbol of Our Piratey Tradition?


The parrot on the shoulder has long been a central item in Pirate symbolism. I can remember a time when no self-respecting attendee would arrive at a branch meeting upstairs from a tavern on the northside to discuss the great Pirate/Buccaneer split, without a brightly coloured talking bird perched beside his head. Well do I remember one heartie, a lifelong and unsung hero of the Piratist cause, who would rarely be seen without at least two if not three birds on each shoulder. He trained them to sing the Pirate anthem “Yo ho ho and a bottle o’ Rum” and they often lead us, all five of us, in a lusty rendition at the end of a long and fruitful discussion. Ah yes, they were great days, and even though we never actually got on our boats and went a-pirating (many of us lived with our mums, and didn’t own pirate ships), we made a difference in a very real sense. True, we never made Ireland even slightly more piratey, but we did manage to refine our positions on many questions, and began some of the very valuable theoretical work which we continue here at the Irish Pirate Review.

All through this long and long-winded struggle, we have had parrots perched atop our shoulders. Some simply said “Pieces of Eight!”, others recited entire annotated chapters of Karl “Greybeard” Marx’s “Das Piratikal”. These tropical birds represent a link to the Piratey tradition of which we are only the latest iteration. That some of the so-called piratey factions of today seek to sweep these colourful fauna under the carpet of history is nothing short of heresy. This “New Piracy” (really just landlubber-ism made over in pseudo-pirate clothing) seeks to abandon all that was noble in the Buccaneer tradition. It falls to us at the Irish Pirate Review, seadogs too stubborn to quit, to fight on for the cause. They may chant “Euros!” now, instead of “Pieces of Eight!”, but our feathered friends are as vital to our cause as ever. So wear your parrots with pride, me hearties! Arr.

Photo Credit

Arrh! The Photo above be available for us to be using though Creative Commons by missy_1074 from Flickr. We thankee!
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