Captain Morgan's Rum Do

Scabs, death, rats, puss and gore.... squelch right up gents and gentlewenches....



Captain Morgan's Rum Do do, so to speak.  They do at festivals and clubs of the folky sort!

CMRD came into being as the result of Roy buying a book - yes, he can read as well. That book was The Mammoth Book of Pirates which gave Roy an idea for a song - several years and 60 songs later Roy now has a catalogue of said stuff relating to the 16th to 18th centuries and dealing with subject matter as diverse as piracy in the Golden Age and life of London, its characters and life along the River Thames.

The two albums 'Pirates of the East Coast of the Americas and the Caribbean Sea' and 'Thames, Sails and Scallywags Tales' remain available through this website but all 64 songs in the series are now available as downloads on a rather fetching 1gb Pirate Captain USB wotsit - contact Roy for details.

Roy sings and plays guitar, percussionist Gemma hits things like a dong and the a Capella trio Triangle (Sophie, Mim and Sue) hold the whole thing together to stop it getting too messy.

CMRD perform this material in clubs of the folky kind and festivals all over the UK.

Sung with English rather than American accents these songs evoke an atmosphere of the time and subject matter.  They aim to tell mostly true tales in a fun and enlightening way.

Scabs, pus, hangings, great fires, the plague... ah, happy times!


These songs are all available as downloads and any number can be supplied on a 1GB Pirate Captain USB memory stick - prices on request.

A Ship Is Of Wood (Poem) An unfortunate incident featuringSid our reluctant her having apparrently been press ganged into service and making a hash of helping out on board ship.  
A Strapping Young Lad That Bonny Surely someone should have noticed that Bonny was a woman? This crewmate had doubts.  
Alexander Selkirk - A Diamond In the Blue The man on which Robinson Crusue was based. Died of tropical illes a dozen years after being rescued in 1721.  
Anne Bonny Anne Bonny, one of only three known women pirates - and she got away with it.  
Arthur Halses' Britches A London based tealeaf Arthur Halse receives a short mention in history and the story of him appearing in court wearing the very britches he was accused of stealing is true.  
Articles of Black Bart (The) True artcicles of Black Bart Roberts' crew on the ship The Good Fortune.  
Bartholomew Roberts - Black Bart Perhaps the most successful of all pirates Bartholomew Roberts (1682-1722) captured 400 ships, ransacked towns along the coast of America and finally met his end in a sea battle with HMS Swallow off the coast of Africa. Killed in battle 1722.  
Bellamy's Lament Sad tale of Sam Bellamy returning to his love only to be shipwrecked and drowned in a storm in 1717.  
Bembridge Light A lighthouse on the Isle of Wight used as a sea marker for smugglers.  
Benito de Soto A bloodthirsty Galician or Potugese pirate (1805-1830) Benito de Soto murdered crews who fell into his hands and sank their ships after plundering them of what he needed. He was hung in Cadiz, Spain, and his head stuck on a pike as a warning to others. Hung in 1830.  
Black Beard - Whispers In the Darkness Perhaps the most famous Pirate, not a nice man, whose career lasted a mere 15 months.  
Black Beard - Who Is the One A whimsical assessment of Blackbeards potential as the one you want coming along to a party unannounced.  
Black Caesar Away Black Caeasar should have blown up Blackbeards ship if the battle went wrong but he was stopped just in time. Hung in 1718.  
Calico and Anne - Just the Two of Us A love duet between Calico Jjack Rackham and his lover Anne Bonny the night before they were captured.  
Calico Jack Rackham Not much of a Pirate really but he did have two women crew members on board.  
Captain Kidd Guilty or not of Piracy William Kidd certainly did kill his gunner with a metal hooped bucket. Hung in 1701.  
Captains Cooper & Scarfield Some believe this tale to be true and others believe it to be fiction.  I have included it here as I'm blowed if I know which is right.  
Caribbean Rose A fictional charater but one who represents a certain class of 'female entertainers' found in any port then and now.    
Charles Vane Determined to continue life 'on the account' Vane was hung in 1721.  
Creeping - Lock 'em All Below London Piracy = waiting for the tide to go out, walking out to a ship, locking the crew below decks, taking what you wanted and walking back home - no famous names here as most were never caught.  
East End of LondonTown (The) London Docks were built partly as a means of protecting ships and their cargos from absolute rotters in the East End.  
Edward low Perhaps the most vicious Pirate of his age Edward, or Ned, Low took at least one hundred ships in his short career as a Pirate.  Hanged in 1724.  
Execution - The Marshall's Dance The jiggling of legs as a hung man choked to death was called the Marshal's Dance as executions were undertaken under the authority of the High Court Marshal of the Admiralty.  
Exquemelin - With Morgan At Panama Alexandre Olivier Exquemelin (1645-1707) was a Buccaneer who was present at Sir Henry Morgan's attack on Panama City and other adventures.  He later wrote the definitive book concerning Buccaneers entitled the 'History of the Bouccaneers of America'.    
Great Fire of 1666 (The) Contained by the Roman walls of old London town and by a change in wind direction this catastrophic event reulted in only 6 recorded deaths - life was cheap.  
Henry Avery - Avery's Hoard £52 million in loot, your share in diamonds and you can't spend them? Died a pauper in 1699.  
Henry Morgan - Morgan's Way A privateer, pirate, admiral, cheat, politician, governor of Jamaica, conquerer of Porto Bello, Puerto Principe and Panama his exploits were recorded by Exquemelin in later years.  
Impress Man (The) The Press were active in securing men between the age of 18 and 55 for service in the Royal Navy - voluntarilly or not.  
Israel Hands Turned states evidence after Blackbeard died and implicated the Governor of north Carolina and exposed him as a partner to Blackdeard. Died a pauper on the streets of London.  
Jean Lafitte A French Pirate and Privateer in the Gulf of Mexico Lafitte couldn't settle down and met his end in a sea battle with the British Navy in 1823.  
John Gow - The Execution Tree The Orkney Pirate and not a nice man! Hanged at Execution Dock, Wapping, in 1725.  
John King The youngest known Pirate of the Golden Age he died with Black Sam Bellamy and only a leg bone, solk stocking and a shoe survive.  
Jonathan Wilde Jonathan Wilde (1683-1725) , the self styled 'Thief Taker General' was an underworld figure that ran a criminal empire in London in the asbsence of an effective police force. His own men finally gave evidence against him and he was hung on the Tripple Tree gallows at Tyburn in front of a huge crowd.  
Kiss Me Quick (Poem) Caribbean Rose is a fictional figure and the subject of another song in this series. Here she returns home to Leigh on Sea in Essex after many adventures, sets up business and inadvertantly names a pub in her honour.  
Living In a Goodwife Way What of the women left behind when men went to sea?  This song attempts to explain their situation from the wives' viewpoint.  
London Fields (Poem) The development of marshland around London caused many to be relocated elsewhere.  
Low Tide - Pirates In the Mud Another song explaining how tealeafs would gather in London taverns to plan their next pirating exploit and wade through the mud to attain their plunder.  
Marshalsea Prison The southe bank prison where most Pirates were held before trial and execution.  This song visualises the Pirates last day and voices his regret at his actions.  It may be of interest to note that Charles Dickens' father was sent to Marshalsea Prison for a debt to a baker and that Dickens wrote of the prison in the novel Little Dorrit.  
Mary Read The second female Pirate of John Rackham's crew Mary Read was a frighning character by all accounts.  She and Anne Bonny fought the last battle on board while Jack and others were drinking below decks.  Died of prison fever in 1721.  
Mutiny - In With the Razor Rebellimg against harsh treatment and conditions mutiny by crews was not uncommon often starting with the killing of officers and Captain.  
Open for Business Again The Admiral's Tree refers to Tyburn where hangings took place for hundreds of years.  The fruit are the hung.  Maggots are maggots. Convicted Pirates would the n be be secured below the lowest water mark at Wapping Old Stairs and three tides would be allowed to wash over them before their removal.  
Paradise Island Marrooning was either voluntary or a punishment. This song visualises a marrooned sailor going over the events of his previous life and yes, they did traditionally leave a man a pistol with one shot.  
Polly, The Parrot of the Caribbean Unfortunately not a true tale (as far as I know) but it should be.  Clever things, Parotts.  
Port Royal Prior to its destruction Port Royal was used  by Pirates, Privateers, The Royal Navy and anyone else at the same time.  A den of iniquity, thievery, brothels and bars it was every sailors home port while the money lasted and having been at sea for months if not years and possibly with plunder to dispose of there was certainly cash to spare in the town. A safe(ish) haven for all and never mind the fleas....  
Rosie Another tale that should be true but isn't.  I'm sure a real working girl Rosie would recognise the gist as would various husbands.  
Sailing Free An imagined punishment for an imagined indescretion but one that could well have happened. Don't mess with the Captain.  
Sid of the North West Passage Sid is an imaginary figure of a loveable idiot that bragged his way into trouble and suffered for it. Perhaps we'll hear more of Sid in due course as I'm rather fond of him.  
So Many Secrets In an age where life was cheap and rewards could be great London Docks would have been a place of secrets and whispers where plans were made and deals were done - where anything was possible.  
Strumpets Are Us Enter the strumpet whose endeavours were designed to relieve a man of his money in return for a short enjoyment and long term treatment.  'And the rum makes them seem so pretty to us and you don't see the pox and the scabs and the pus...' says it all really....   
The Black Flag Why the skull and crossbones? A time honoured representation of death of course.  But why an hourglass? Why the Devil? Why a speared heart?  
The Doldrums Sailing ships caught in the Doldrums could be trapped for days or weeks with supplies such as food and drinking water at a premium or exhausted altogether.  Large ships could be towed by rowing boats in order to escape this natural phenomenon however it was hot and tiring work.  
The Gathering Fondly remembering the famous names of the Golden Age of Piracy. Live Pirates though are a different matter and are best left alone....  
The Great Plague/Bring Out Your Dead The Great Plague of 1666 was caused by a virus transmitted through the bite of an infected rat flea. The person whose job it was to collect the dead bodies on a cart was called a Searcher.   
The Whydah - A Sea of Tears The only authenticated Pirate shipwreck to date the Whydah Galley was originally a slave ship until being captured by Black Sam Bellamy and refitted for the Pirating account.  Rediscovered in 1984 salvage operations are still ongoing.    
There's A Dark Side An answer to Hollywoods romantic portrayal of Pirates: all flapping flags and cleavages.  
This Old Bridge is Falling Down Overcrowded, dirty, smelly, dangerous and gridlocked with traffic old London Bridge was the only crossing before Richmond well upstream.  
Time - the End of the Buccaneers The reasons Piracy came to an abrupt end were threefold and explained in this song.  
Tortuga A Pirate haven off the coat of Hispaniola and where the Buccaneers originated.  In Spanish the name means Turtle or Tortoise as that best describes its appearance.  
What the Poor People Are For My take on how the poor have been exploited throughout history and this song relates conditions in a time frame consistant with other songs from this series.  
When All of the Rum Runs Out Every Pirates nightmare!  
Williams of Gow's Revenge John Gow's mate who almost blew Gow's ship out of the water following an altercation with the Captain.  Hung at Execution Dock.  
Wrecker's Dilema Wreckers were a band of people who either took advantage of cargos from wrecked ships or lured the ships onto rocks with false lights often in stormy weather. A ship could not be deemed 'lost' if any of the crew were surviving so the temptation was to ensure that none survised and therefore abide by the law.  
Yo Ho Me Lads This song explains the Industrial Injury scheme actually employed by Pirate ships in the 17th and 18th centuries.