4 - The Ballad of Anne Bonny

Words by © Janie Meneely
Tune by © Janie Meneely

Janie Meneely writes modern sea songs celebrating the maritime history, characters, and traditions of the Chesapeake Bay. She has kindly given Auntie Shanty permission to reproduce the lyrics so that we can enjoy her songs in the pub. If you would like to discover more of Janie's music, you can buy her CDs here.

We think she stole Black Caesar’s rig
He kept it in the Keys
She cut away the anchor rope
And flew off in the breeze
With a hundred hearty cutthroats
I know it sounds absurd
She ran the brig to Martinique
Past that we haven’t heard

She’ll steal the pennies off your eyes before your corpse is cold
And wear your guts as garters before your shirt’s been sold
But generous to a fault, they say she’d give away her coat
And if you’re caught asleep on watch, she’ll slit your bloody throat

The Spanish were full terrified
She’d cleaned off all their decks
And carried off the gold and plate
And left them nervous wrecks
The Brits were apprehensive
For fear she’d come in view
The pirate queen would pick them clean
Before they’d quite hove to

She’ll steal the pennies off your eyes…

Anne Bonny is a terror
She’ll swing you from the yards
Or throw you aft as shark bait
Or slice you into shards
For all that, she’s a beauty
And generous with her charms
Vanquished men have ‘riz’ again
For one night in her arms

She’ll steal the pennies off your eyes…