“Pirate” or “The Best of Buccaneering”

D’ye know what today be, mateys? International Talk Like a Pirate Day! I kid you not – as of 1995, it is a holiday, recognized by at least tens of thousands of Facebook users.

In honor of the day, I figured I could, if not talk legitimately like “one who robs at sea or plunders the land from the sea without commission from a sovereign nation” (I’ve just come off of a summer locked in 16th-century England; great as it was, I’d like to be able to just talk like me, for a while!), then at least have a little informal talk about pirate-related things. Things like…

“Pirates of the Caribbean! Show of hands, who among you loves these movies? I can still remember the first time I saw “The Curse of the Black Pearl” on TV; that moment when the moonlight revealed the accursed crew for what they really were… *shudders* It terrified me, but it didn’t stop my adoration of Captain Barbossa. And by the time we reached the climactic swordfight between Barbossa and Captain Jack Sparrow, Hans Zimmer’s “He’s a Pirate” heightening the swashbuckling ambience, that was it. I was hooked. The pirate’s life was for me!

I mean, c’mon: Pirates have swords! Who doesn’t love swords?!

“I know I love swords!” Will Scarlet cheers.

Of course you do, you Merry Swordsman, you! Also among pirate weaponry are pistols and cannons and, in the case of Peter Pan’s nemesis, a hook for a hand.

“And muskets, and bombs, and knipple shot—”

What kind of shot, now?? Where are you getting this, Will?

The Pirate’s Realm dot com,” he says, pointing to one of our (apparently) shared computer’s open tabs. “They’ve got a page all about pirate weapons.”

Ah. Someone might enjoy that. Thanks, Scarlet.

“All very well,” Allyn-a-Dale walks over to chime in. “But you’ve yet to mention the most alluring element of piracy.”

“Thievery?” Will guesses.

Allyn shakes his head and answers (in pattern-conforming emboldened font, bless him), “Pirates have ships to sail the open seas.”

Or the Great Lakes, I say, recalling my voyage once upon the Tall Ship Windy. That was fun.

Writer buddy Tirzah Duncan was awesome enough to bring her own hat. One of the ship’s crewmen was awesome enough to lend me his.

“Naturally, it was,” says Allyn. “Captain Sparrow actually put it rather lyrically, in that aforementioned film: ‘Wherever we want to go, we go. That’s what a ship is, you know. It’s not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails. That’s what a ship needs. But what a ship is… what the Sword-o’-the-Gale really is… is freedom.’”

A stirring recitation – although Jack Sparrow didn’t say anything about the Sword-o’-the-Gale.

Allyn coolly adjusts the cuff of his alter-ego’s elegant coat (which I hadn’t taken notice of his wearing, ‘til now). “He would have, were he Captain Gant the Second.”

Well, be that as it may, I’m all for big, beautiful ships and the sparkling sea. Thanks for joining in on the pirate talk, boys! Readers, feel free to toss in your two pieces of eight! What parts of piracy have you cheering “Yo-Ho”?

10 thoughts on ““Pirate” or “The Best of Buccaneering”

  1. Interesting fact about Rewan; two of my ancestors actually were pirates 😀 And pirate captains at that, not like pirates who made the sandwiches. One Captain Tremethick is buried in Jamaica apparently.

    Interesting fact about where I live; while smugglers aren’t quite the same as pirates, they are almost, and one of the warehouses on the seafront has the secret entrance to a network of tunnels that lead to all the cellars of all the pubs within a three mile radius, as that’s how said smugglers used to transport their cargo. Naturally health and safety bores have blocked it all off, but t’is there.

    • Sandwich-making pirate ancestors would have been awesome enough, but captains?! I “aaaargh” with envy.

      C’mon, Health ‘n’ Safety! Just make people sign a waiver or hand them a torch and let them explore the tunnels! (I use “torch” in its flashlight sense, in solidarity with you British types. Or what the hey, use some actual flames on a stick; sure, it’s throwing safety out the window, but wouldn’t you feel that much more like a smuggler? 😀 )

  2. One of the most fascinating women in history is “pirate queen” Grace O’Malley who ruled a good chunk of Ireland’s coasts with her pirate fleet and battled arch nemesis Queen Elizabeth I. I really enjoyed Morgan Llywelyn’s novel about her and keep meaning to read more about her.

  3. We celebrated it in our pirate class today! We had a banner that read “Pirattitude” and lived it to the fullest! Pirate books were read, Pirate talk was encouraged (“Heave-to, ye scurvy dogs!”), and Pirate booty was rewarded to the scallywags that made the 95% club on their school notes! Love the post, Danielle! : )

    • Ahoy, Eric! This report o’ yers be jollier than the Roger hoisted up me mainsail! I’m glad to hear that piracy is taking over the shore as well as open waters. Yo-ho!

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