Pirates of Somalia

Let me tell you the story of a hundred ships
Traversing the great big sea
Moving the riches of the world in large ships
Owned by the captains of industry
They were heading to places like
Amsterdam London and LA
But they had to change their plans a bit
When they were held up on the wa – ay

Here’s to the pirates of Somalia
Sailing the ocean blue
Here’s to the pirates of Somalia
I’ll raise the Jolly Roger to you

Harardhere is a town of fishermen
Living lives of hardship and toil
But today they had a really good catch
Two million barrels of oil
They travel with the Pirate’s Handbook
Doing what’s just and fair
Taxing the robber barons
And taking their rightful share


There are those who don’t like pirates
But I think they’re just great
I only wish that I could shake their hands
And say “good job, mate!”
I only wish I could join them on the seas
Bring those tankers to bay
Tax those corporations
And give the loot away


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Sheet music:
Pirates of Somalia

“Pirates of Somalia” appears on the 2009 CD, Ten Thousand Miles Away.

I’ve upset a fair number of good people for this song, particularly in seafaring countries where I play regularly, and I’m sorry about that.  However, although I have really honestly tremendous sympathy for all the sailors who have been held hostage by pirates anywhere, overall I must say I celebrate the Somali pirates, since they are the only reason why western corporations had to stop dumping nuclear waste off the coast of Somalia, the only reason companies that over-fish the oceans have to steer clear of Somalia.  They have essentially been better than the average coast guard in protecting Somalia’s coast from these corporate killers.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  And, importantly, contrary to the impression you might get from listening to the western press, politicians, etc., Somali pirates overwhelmingly refrain from things like torturing, raping or killing hostages.  Like pirates throughout history, the Somali pirates are disenfranchised people looking to get a cut of a very, very profitable business — transoceanic trade.