Mutiny

Mutiny

Last year, I walked into a charity shop and bought a book that I knew nothing about purely because it had a beautiful cover. That book was called The Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of HMS Bounty: It’s Cause and Consequences. Catchiest title ever. I won’t tell you all the details of this intriguing true story but suffice to say it describes a mutiny and the terrible consequences for the crew. It paints the mutineers as villains and the loyal crew as heroes but, as it was written many many years ago, makes no comment at all on the fact that the ships original mission had been to deliver food to help run a slave plantation! It’s a fascinating glimpse into history. This poem was inspired by this story but is fairly dramatised, fictionalised, and otherwise inaccurate.

Mutiny

Mutiny! Mutiny! Sound the alarm!
In the calm of the sea a cry rose from the boat
Then the few loyal crew, they were gathered around
They were bound and then thrown in a dinghy to float

Delivering food to a distant plantation
Their station: feed slaves with a glorious new crop
But they rested, found love with a small tribal group
So the troupe of deserters gave sailing the chop

We the dissatisfied, bitter and poor
Will no more accept wages, orders or commands
We’ll sail for that island and all settle down
For the town on the beach will fulfill our demands

The captain was outraged and said with a sneer
Well, it’s clear we’re the only real men on the ship
If you’ll send us off please, we’ll impede you no more
But be sure, we’ll be back, was the man’s parting quip

They struggled for weeks in the grip of the tide
Many died but a few lucky stragglers lived on
When they made it back home, they were asked straight away
Well, which way have the traitorous mutineers gone?

So to sea they returned, back to weed out the rest
With the best ship available, lethal and fast
They crashed onto the island, turned houses to mud
And the bloodthirsty scoundrels were punished at last

And never again were they put to the test
Yes, they rest now as heroes in glorious graves
Their records were flawless, their legacies pure
Just ignore the small fact that it’s bad to trade slaves

This is fruitiny!

This is fruitiny!

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