A little personal aside; apart from a couple of periods (hip-hip Harare, hello Denver, zdravo Beograd), I’ve spent my entire life within a kilometre or two from the ocean. Now, ironically for me, that’s not a good thing: the sea scares the shit out of me.

In part it’s because the gloopy grey waters of the North Sea frequently inundated the coastline of my childhood home, swallowing fishing boats and indeed whole towns – the church tower of one sunken village still crests on very stormy nights and you can hear the bells toll (apparently.) That was also Nelson’s home county, so my earliest horrors were tales of bloody naval battles (shrapnel and splinters like javelins), press-ganging, cat-o-nine-tails and keel-hauling, and sewing gay mariners into sacks and chucking them off the deep end. And now, needless to say, the sea in Cape Town is 8 degrees and angry and full of sharks. The sea is not at all my friend.

So recently, courtesy of a tweet by Mr. Stephen Fry, I was introduced to Cosmo Jarvis’ song “Gay Pirates”. With stinging relevance to the Obama administration’s maintenance of DADT, as well as the on-going vilification of homosexuality in this part of the world, it’s one of the most violent, vicious, nostalgic and moving love songs of the past few years. Turn up the volume, and weep a little bit:

Incidentally, this video was filmed in Cosmo’s local village hall in Devon.

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