Feminist Perversions: Sea Shanty Edition

Right then. A little while back Cat Mara on WeHuntedTheMammoth came up with the idea of WHTM-themed sea shanties:

[W]hat would a blog’s comment section be but a mutual admiration society? Why else would people come here and leave comments if they didn’t like the other people doing so? One could just lurk, or read the articles posted on the main page passively through an RSS reader. It’s not the Army. We didn’t enlist; we weren’t pressganged…

At least I wasn’t. If David approached any of you in a seedy waterfront bar and said, “aaar, I be formin’ a blog and be in need of trusty hands to work the bilge in the comments, will ye take me shilling?” you’d tell me, right? Are there shanties? Tell me there are shanties!

Immediately good folk, including yours truly, set to work making these sea shanties a reality. This was later liberalized a bit with other folk traditions (especially the related Celtic folk tradition). Today I’m going to share with you the two I wrote, one cribbing off Barrett’s Privateers and the other off Ramblin’ Rover, but I hope that one or both of you might feel motivated to riff off your own favorite shanties or raucous folk songs and create new lyrics in the comments.

To start, Barrett’s Privateers and lyrics directly inspired by Cat Mara’s But were you press-ganged? question:

Oh, the year was 2019
– How I wish I was at Kinkfest now –
And a url flashed on my screen
For the misandristest bloggy I’ve ever seen
Cats bless them all!

I was told
We’d mine the ‘net for ManBoob gold
We’d ban all trolls, drink men’s tears
Yes, I’m a happy dyke on a feminist blog
Just one of Futrelle’s commenteers.

Oh, snarking posts then made the rounds
– How I wish I was at Kinkfest now –
And feminist friends, menschenkennerin,
Would take them in and add mocking too
Cats bless them all!

I was told
We’d mine the ‘net for ManBoob gold
We’d ban all trolls, drink men’s tears
Yes, I’m a happy dyke on a feminist blog
Just one of Futrelle’s commenteers.

For those unfamiliar with the tune:


Before you read the next, you might want to know that “Poo-ahs” is simply an onomatopoeia for a pronunciation of PUA (acronym for “Pick-Up Artist”) that fits the song’s rhythm.  It is also quite a bit more jaunty and based on Ramblin’ Rover:


[Chorus:] Oh, there’re hopeless thoughts and plenty,
Frae Poo-ahs barely twenty,
An’ from incels over ninety
That have never yet kissed a girl.
But give me a fem’nist’ author,
Pass’d from mother down to daughter,
We’ll read, we’ll talk, we’ll prosper
And together we’ll change the world.

There’s many that find enjoyment
From merciless employment,
Of mockery almost buoyant
Of the internet’s sexist tools.
They trash what sexists ponder
then write truth, wisdom and wonder,
With elan than makes us fonder
And much happier as a rule.


Oh, we’ve marched through every nation
with every gender, every station
often finding new vocation
of a raucous feminist kind
We’ve been labeled most notorious
while we win our vict’ries glorious
making speeches Senatorious
that persist in the popular mind.


So… If you’re bent wi’ arthiritis,
an’ your child’s got colicitis,
if you’re sick from men’s bollockitis
and you’re thinkin’ it’s time you died,
Well, if you took the streets for actions,
Committing all infractions,
filing feminist class actions,
take some joy from the moving tide…

There are a number of great versions of this song (originally by Andy M Stewart), but the one that best catches the street march, direct action mood of my rewrite is this one by The Fables:



…what do you all got?



  1. says

    Glad I inspired something you enjoyed– you’re one of the commentators I always most enjoy hearing from, both here and over at WHTM.

    Unfortunately, sea shanties are not my thing. The only thing I do have is a dirge I wrote a while ago, a screed against plastic Paddyism, toxic nationalism, and the smugness of the “Celtic Tiger” period. I’m not sure how much an international audience would get from it owing to the amount of Irish cultural references in it.

    My friends want me to record it sometime but, frankly, no-one needs to hear that.


    March 17 2005

    ‌Sing oh, Danny Boy
    ‘Cos I’m wanting for joy
    And I’ve broken me leprechaun ears
    My wars may be glad
    And my songs may be sad
    So would yours after eight hundred years

    I wanted to fit
    But you weren’t having it,
    You laughed and called me obscene;
    But I’m not the one
    Who voted for scum
    Who sold us all right down the stream

    So sing toora loora and foddle de day
    Put a gun to my heart, boys, and blow me away
    Roll me up neat
    In this green winding sheet
    And carry me down to the Bay
    Let the mailboat’s wake take me
    Let the Liffey’s swell carry me
    Out past Poolbeg and Ringsend
    And the seagulls will sing me
    Their dirge harsh and free
    As I float to my ultimate end

    All you Kill-Em-And-Ate-Ems
    And Shill-Em-And-Fake-Ems
    You surely as fuck won’t be saved
    I’m hear with me pliers
    To punish the liars
    As the patriots whirl in their graves

    You maudlin shites!
    Kept me up half the night
    While you bellowed and wept in your beer
    So I ask now of you
    Just whom must I screw
    To get a damn drink around here?


    Oh, unhappy land!
    That spawned such a band
    Of wasters and ignorant fucks
    With your spires and your Tigers
    And your ceilidhs and cider
    And your cries of, “I’m no rascist, but…”

    Your illiterate scrawl
    Of “Tiocfidh ár lá”
    Your day has come, no fuckin’ shit
    It’s the quicklime for you
    And the rest of your crew
    And I’m the one digging the pit


  2. ridana says

    In fandom, this sort of thing is called “filking.” Not sure what it would be called among Mammotheers. But well done, the both of you!

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