Pirate day

Ho-heave-ho and haul away –
No tie required – way-hey!
For half-term’s here, and pirate gear
Is the order of the day.
With a yo-ho-ho it’s off you go
All rigged for the Spanish Main –
In your old ragged shirt and sword-belt girt
Ann Bonny walks again!

Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest –
These are the times that we love the best,
When you’re still young enough for this dressing-up stuff
But the day brings its own quiet warning:
For the time’s going by like the cannonballs fly
When the men-o’-war meet for slaughter
Then what shall we do for a pirate daughter
Ear-ly in the mor-ning?

May you always hold, like a pirate’s gold,
Onto all that you’ve done today;
May your flag always fly in a clear blue sky,
And fair winds blow you on your way.
May a fine, gallant crew sail along with you
To wherever the world may spin you;
With a yo-ho-ho, don’t you ever let go
Of the pirate spirit in you.


Our daughter’s school has just installed some new playground equipment, including a climbing-frame in the shape of a ship. To celebrate its inauguration, the children were allowed to go to school dressed as pirates; my wife conjured a costume out of charity-shop odds and ends, and the girl looked fantastic. She goes up to secondary school in September, which means there won’t be many more days like this, so I’ve marked the occasion with a sea-shanty. There’s a first time for everything!


10 thoughts on “Pirate day

  1. I am not sure Nick who is the bigger child in your family – you or your daughter!!

    One of the joys of having children is that it allows us to reclaim some of that simple joy we felt as a child 🙂

    I thoroughly enjoyed your sea-shanty


    • Ah David, it’s me, without a doubt 🙂 We’re already at the ‘Oh Daddy, you’re SO embarrassing..’ stage, and she’s only 10. I keep telling her it’s only going to get worse! Glad you liked my silly poem: it was fun to write. N.

  2. And a brilliant sea-shanty it is too Nick!! Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum -Oops, or should I say orange juice! LOL

    I remember one dressing up day I made a Mr Strong (Roger Hargreaves) outfit for my son, It was a huge cardboard box painted etc but the eye holes were too small and he spent the entire time ploughing into people!

    That was years ago and the memory is as vivid as yesterday.
    So you will always have these memories and lots of new and different ones to look forward to – including “Dad, can you give me a lift to… etc!

    Christine x

    • Bottle of rum, definitely…

      I’m very conscious that the Girl is at the age when events and occurences really begin to ‘stick’ – these are the days she’ll always remember – and of the enormous responsibility that goes with it. It’s a very exciting time, but not good for the nerves! Mind you, it’s as nothing compared to the day when asking for lifts become requests to borrow the car…I’ve made a pre-emptive strike, though, by telling her it’ll probably still be the one we have now (80K miles and counting!) 🙂 N.x

  3. If you are not careful I shall commandeer a ship on the wide sea and come up to the sky shore above your house and steal the gold in your poetry and let your daughter dance a wild dance as she sees tomorrow in the shanty of your verse! And if that doesn’t get to you, then I shall ride the galleon of the moon and laugh a pirate’s laugh in the dead of night as the cutlass of the stars swashbuckle through your head and let you celebrate your daughter, as I celebrate mine, across all the seas of the spirit’s time! Time passes, but memories are forever!

    • Ah, you are a true poet, my friend; ’tis an honour to share my humble hoard of treasure with you. And while I’ve such companions as you, I shall never fear to take ship and sail this perilous sea we call poetry, come wind, come weather. Thank you, as always. N.

    • She did have that Captain Jack Sparrow look about her – it was great. Made me quite envious, actually; having grown up in the 1980s, I still have a vague hankering for the whole New Romantic look. Can’t carry it off at my age, though. 🙂 N.x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.