Sometimes I Feel Like Fletcher Christian

By The Mekons

Taken from the page:

To Poetry, Songs & Drama about the Bounty

                       Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian
                            Staring out across the sea
                           Torn apart by duties shackles
                           The twisted tongues of loyalty

                        Well I sucked hard on every pleasure
                            Till my head began to spin
                      He'll choose between the whip and feather
                         And that is where his crimes begin

                       Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian
                          In paradise with the tables turned
                        Yes and I can fell the tatooists needle
                         I can feel my neck and ankles burn

                       These south sea isles are cold and barren
                         but this civil war's been good for me
                        We took drugs and tore our uniforms
                           Gave up our captain to the sea

                       Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian
                           Twisting off the serpents head
                         For the mutiny I'll shoot the big one
                          Hot and hungry, far from home

                      Through the sun and sea my skin is peeling
                        But it don't make these picutres fade
                    Those shapes and symbols, I know their meaning
                        The shameless riches of another world

                          If I return they're sure to hang me
                            So I guess I'll have to stay
                       And if I should croak out in the darkness
                           No-one will know I got away
Here are the lyrics to the only song I know about the Mutiny on the Bounty. It is not traditional. This was written and performed by the Mekons on their 1988 CD "So Good it Hurts" on TwinTone Records; in the UK I believe the label that released this cd is SIN. The Mekons are an English band that have been putting out albums for many years ranging from punk rock to country music. This cd is a mix of folk and rock. On the case, there is a cartoon drawing of a seaman with a mug of drink trying to make a choice between the serpents head and the whip & feather. -- see song. Below this I have included some other interesting (to me, at least) information from the cd booklet.

Liner Notes from the CD

There are two clippings in the liner notes to the cd regarding the Bounty. They are:

The Bounty left Tahiti for good in 1789. On board 9 mutineers, six male Tahitian "servants", 19 native women and one child. (Tahitians beleived they had just been visiting the Bounty for one night, one mile out to sea one woman jumps overboard.) 9 miles further at Morea, six "ancient" women put ashore. 4 months, 3,000 miles later find Pitcairn Island, ideal - no natural harbour and uncharted. Matthew Quintail secretly burns Bounty. Fletcher Christian spends days alone in a remote cave. 4 years later "servants" revolt when Mutineer takes Tahitian's wife for his own. John Mills' head cut off, William Brown's head is crushed. Smith got musket bullet in throat, saved by offering money. Edward Young hidden by woman. Christian disappears. Matthew Quintail and McCoy flee to bush. McCoy makes still. Inflamed by his liquor he jumps from top of Island. Quintail killed later by Young and Smith. Young dies of asthma. Smith and women kill "servants". Smith reverts to name of John Adams. Profoundly religious his Govt. of island stern and puritanical. Joy and frivolity wholly lacking. Hymns sung morning and evening. Dancing allowed one day a year, on King's birthday.
"The Fate of the Mutineers" - Children's Encyclopedia Britannica 1960. Collins Concise Encyclopedia 1977.

Purpose of Bounty's voyage to procure Breadfruit plants from Tahiti. To be planted in West Indies as cheap food for slaves. Bligh's second voyage a success but slaves won't touch the fruit 'til generation later. However Ackee 'n' Saltfish v. popular W. Indian dish. Akee brought over by Bligh. Ackee (BLIGHIA SAPIDA) when unripe contains high concentration of poisonous substance called hypoglycine. It must be plucked for consumption at the stage when the fruit pods split open (hypoglycine content then v. low).
Traditional Jamaican Cookery by Norma Benghat, Penguin 1985.

Submitted by: Steve Gardner "Topsoil" Sundays 3-6pm - Roots/Traditional/Folk KSCU 103.3FM - Santa Clara, CA Ph. (408) 944-7827 --- Fx: (408) 954-9517 Email:

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