Somali pirates? Hit me baby one more time!


Oh baby baby
How was I supposed to know
That something wasn’t right here
Oh baby baby
I shouldn’t have let you go
And now you’re out of sight yeah
Show me how you want it to be
Tell me baby cause I need to know now oh because

These are the lyrics from the song Baby One More Time which catapulted Britney Spears to popstardom in 1999. Who would have thought that 14 years later the same song would be used to fight Somali pirates!

Yes, you read that right. A story in The Guardian titled – Britney Spear’s music used by British Navy to scare off pirates – caught my eye the other day.

Incredibly, it is claimed that Somali pirates can’t stand western culture. Therefore, merchant navy vessels now blare out Britney’s music, which is apparently the embodiment of modern western culture in the eyes of the Somali pirates, and the pirates don’t attack the ships because they can’t stand to hear it!!

Forget guns, we’ve got generally unintelligent lyrics mixed with tried and tired beats (that have been ‘beaten’ up by so many songs that it ‘beats’ the artistic listener’s ears) counterattacking the Somali sea-thieves! Maybe they have an advanced musical sense themselves and can’t bear to hear auto-tuned  cacophony!

I can almost imagine merchant navy captains now almost looking for the Somali pirates. Binoculars in hand, they’re primary mission maybe to deliver cargo but they’re secret mission would be to scope out pirates. Guns are so overrated. As they near a hapless Somali dingy with guns up the wazoo, the captain sounds the alarm and then press ‘play’. The Somalian pirates Scream and Shout as Britney’s voice slams against their ears with a distinctly confident – It’s Britney B*tch! 

This adds a psychological dimension to the fight against piracy. All those poets and bards that have sung through the centuries that – Music can change the world! –  or meant it in some similar fashion, may have had a point!

All jokes aside, incredibly thinking by whoever it is that came up with this ingenious method of countering Somali pirates. I don’t know if it’s bad music or western culture that drives them away but it seems to be working!  Now imagine what could be accomplished if they used Justin Beiber’s music.

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