The year was 1665, it’s late August and Captain Henry Morgan, one of the most famous pirates of the 1600’s, was returning to his home base at Port Royal in Jamaica.
He and his crew had been away at sea for many months and their ship was loaded with a large cargo of valuables, which they had accumulated by attacking traders and Spanish galleons throughout the Caribbean sea.
His crew were eager for the spoils to be shared out, and to get ashore, so they could spend their ill gotten gains on wine and women.
As their ship approached the shore, they realised that something was wrong. Something didn’t look right about the buildings, and there was no crowd of people on the waterfront at Port Royal waiting for them to dock.
Had Port Royal, the greatest pirate base in the New World, been raided?
Once ashore they quickly realised the truth. There has been a terrible earthquake, and a tsunami, and Port Royal had suffered terrible damage. Most of the population, those who had survived, had fled around the harbour to Kinsgton.
Captain Henry Morgan and his crew hauled their cargo to shore, and the wealth was divided between the crew, who despite the horrible mess they found in Port Royal, were still eager to have a wild night, getting drunk and having all the women they could handle.
So, off the crew went to the best bar and brothel in the port, but to their horror, the place had been virtually demolished by the earthquake, and there was not a soul moving.
The crew were heartbroken, as you can imagine, but then the first mate discovered an undamaged barrel of Rum in the ruins, and so the crew opened it up, and proceeded to get drunk, properly drunk.
The more rum they drank, the more drunk they got, and the more drunk they got, the louder their singing became.
The pirate crew sang louder and louder. They sang all kinds of pirate songs, from sea shanties, to the baudiest tales you could imagine.
Suddenly, something stirred in the rubble of what once was the best brothel in Port Royal.
The crew all went quiet, as they looked to see who or what was moving.
It was a woman, one of the girls who worked in the brothel, in fact it was the prettiest of all the girls who had worked there.
A huge cheer went up from the pirates, as they recognised her and realised what this meant to them.
As if as one, they all started to sing: “Alive alive ho, alive alive ho…”
Image used under a Collective Commons License from: https://insh.world/places/port-royal-sunken-pirate-city-jamaica/