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Pirate's Ideology

9 August 1829
Brig (ship type)

Come all you sons of Freedom, a chorus join with me,
I’ll sing a song of heroes, and glorious liberty.
Some lads condemn’d from England sail’d to Van Diemen’s shore,
Their country, friends and parents, perhaps never to see more[....]
The hardships we’d to undergo, are matters of record,
But who believes the Convict, or who regards his word?
For starv’d and flogg’d and punish’d, depriv’d of all redress,
The Bush our only refuge, with death to end distress[....]
We first address’d the soldiers “for liberty we crave,
Give up your arms this instant, or the sea will be your grave,
By tyranny we’ve been oppress’d, by your Colonial laws,
But we’ll bid adieu to slavery, or die in freedom’s cause.”

This ballad was attributed to 31 British convicts who seized the transport brig Cyprus on 9 August 1829, sailing in Tasmanian waters on their way to Macquarrie Harbour Penal Settlement. It extols the piracy as anti-tyranny and pro-egalitarian and -libertarian order. It seems probable that convicts' old-world cultural baggage influenced their piracies.

Ian Duffield, in '...Australia's Pirates, 1790-1829' (IRSH Special issue 21, 2013 Mutiny and Maritime Radicalism in the Age of Revolution)