Shiver Me Timbers

Smithsonian Magazine explains the legend of the Pirate Queen Granuaile:

Born in 1530, the Pirate Queen Granuaile was raised in an Ireland where English law was usurping Gaelic sovereignty. She refused to submit to authority and raided merchant ships bound for Galway Bay. According to legend, she fought off English troops besieging her stronghold by melting the roof and pouring molten lead on her attackers. The stories of her resistance, spread by ballad singers for centuries, became a symbol for Irish nationalism. Irish-American folk singer Dan Milner adapted one such political broadside, “Granuaile,” for Smithsonian Folkways’ newly released “Irish Pirate Ballads and Other Songs of the Sea.”

Click on the Smithsonian Jukebox to hear Granuaile and The Ballad of Ó Bruadair / Out on the Ocean, two delightful Irish chanteys.

The songs repeat if you let them. While I listened I was puttering around and before I knew it, they had played half-a-dozen times.


I want to be a Pirate Queen and have a gorgeous Irish singer sing about me! I’d settle for one or the other, though.


How ”˜bout you …would you rather be a pirate or have songs sung about you?

0 thoughts on “Shiver Me Timbers

  1. Jessie

    As long as it isn’t set to the tune of “Yo ho yo ho a pirates life for me,” it would be acceptable for songs to be sung about me, Jessie the Pirate Queen. Though when I saw Zorro the Musical, I wanted to be the Gypsy Queen too. Is it possible to be both?


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