Shanty Evil…an Interview with Elizabeth Bradshaw

JC: So, Elizabeth, why did you choose Mary Boland upon sight at the Harbor in Queensbury?


EB: Look, ducks, she was a pretty thing. So dirty I couldn’t stand near her for the stink, but I got an eye, I do. Under all that dirt was something I could sell.


JC: Sell?


EB: Of course. Sailors on long voyages have needs, y’know? I’ve been making my keep for years finding pretty young things for the sailors. Got a pretty pence for this one.


JC: So, you never were a lady in waiting to Queen Victoria?


EB: Aw ducks. Did you fall for that bollocks? Moira did, but you? It’s not like you just got off the boat yourself, is it?


JC: What made you think of the lie?


EB: Well, see, Victoria was visiting in Ireland. They named a place over by Killarney Ladies View because of how much her Ladies loved sitting there looking at the lake. Moira was living in Killarney, so once on a visit, I met her and told her I was one of those fine Ladies in Waiting. She’s a sap, I knew she’d fall for it.


JC: Didn’t it bother you to know what those sailors would do to Mary? She was such an innocent.


EB: Nah. Same thing happened to me in London when I was twelve. I survived. So will she. That’s how I got to God-forsaken Ireland in the first place. Sold onto a ship by my father. It’s been a good living for me, it has.


JC: Did you have any reservations about selling Mary?                                                                                              ShantyGoldFront-200x300-72dpi


EB: Just that hair, ducks. Made her stick it up in a cap. Sailors are funny about redheads on a ship. (She laughs raucously). By the time they saw it, they were so horned up they’d rut with anything.