Pirates in popular culture

Pirates in popular culture

In American and British popular culture, the modern pirate stereotype owes its tradition mostly to depictions of Captain Hook and his crew in theatrical and film versions of "Peter Pan", Robert Newton's portrayal of Long John Silver in the film "Treasure Island", and various adaptations of "Sinbad the Sailor". Pirates have retained their image through pirate-themed tourist attractions, traditional film and toy portrayals of pirates, and the continued performance and reading of books and plays featuring pirates.

Appearance and mannerisms

In films, books, cartoons, and toys, pirates often have an unrefined appearance and symbolizes the rogue personality and adventurous, seafaring lifestyle. They are often shown wearing 17th Century clothing, with a bandana or a feathered tricorne. They sometimes have an eye patch and almost always have a cutlass and a flintlock pistol, or some other swords and guns. They sometimes have scars and battle wounds, rotten or missing teeth (suggesting the effects of scurvy), as well as a hook or wooden stump where a hand or leg has been amputated. Some depictions of pirates also include monkeys or parrots as pets.

Stereotypical pirate accents tend to resemble accents either from Cornwall or Bristol, though they can also be based on Elizabethan era English or other parts of the world. Pirates in film, television and theatre are generally depicted as speaking English in a particular accent and speech pattern that sounds like a cross between a West country accent and an old English accent, similar to that of Robert Newton's performance as Long John Silver in the 1950 film "Treasure Island"; however, the characteristic speech patterns of fictional pirates appear to pre-date Newton's performance, for example in J. Warren Kerrigan's Irish-accented performance as Peter Blood in the 1924 film "Captain Blood".Verify source|date=May 2007 One of the stereotypical features of a pirate, the eye patch, dates back to the Arab pirate Rahmah ibn Jabir al-Jalahimah who wore it after losing an eye in battle in the 18th century.

Historical pirates were often sailors or soldiers who'd fallen into misfortune, forced to serve at sea or to plunder goods and ships in order to survive. Depending on the moral and social context of a piece of pirate literature, the pirate characters in that piece may be represented as having fallen, perhaps resembling a "respectable" person in some way. [http://www.literarytraveler.com/authors/captain_hook.aspx The Real Life and Fictional Characters Who Inspired J.M. Barrie's Captain Hook] Alternately, they may be truly corrupt and evil (e.g. Captain Barbossa). Pirates generally quest for buried treasure, which is often stored, after being plundered, in treasure chests. Pirate's treasure is usually gold, often in the form of Doubloons or Pieces of Eight.

pace pirates

Space pirates are science fiction character archetypes who operate in outer space, rather than sailing the sea. As traditional seafaring pirates target sailing ships, space pirates capture and plunder spaceships for cargo, money, and occasionally they steal the ship itself. However, their dress and speech corresponds to the particular author's vision of the future.

Pirate subculture

In the 1990s, International Talk Like a Pirate Day was invented as a parody holiday celebrated on September 19. This holiday allows people to "let out their inner pirate" and to dress and speak as pirates are stereotypically portrayed to have dressed and spoken. International Talk Like a Pirate Day has been gaining popularity through the Internet since its founders set up a [http://www.talklikeapirate.com/ website] , which instructs visitors in "pirate slang."

In the online community, many games, movies, and other media are built upon the premise, thought to have been generated by Real Ultimate Power, that pirates (in the Caribbean buccaneer sense) and ninjas are sworn enemies. The "Pirates versus Ninjas" meme is expressed offline too, through house parties and merchandise found at popular-culture clothing and gift stores.

Pirates also play a central role in the parody religion of Pastafarianism. Established in 2005, [ [http://www.venganza.org/ Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster ] ] Pastafarians (members of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) believe that global warming is a result of the severe decrease in pirates.

Pirates in the arts


In 1879 the comic opera, "The Pirates of Penzance", was an instant hit in New York, and the original London production in 1880 ran for 363 performances. [http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/hrgsp/old/productions/pir00/pir00hist.htm harvard.edu] The piece, depicting an incompetent band of "tenderhearted" British pirates, is still performed widely today, and obviously corresponds to historical knowledge about the emergency of piracy in the Caribbean.

In 1904, J.M. Barrie's play "Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" was first performed. In the book, Peter's enemy in Neverland is the pirate crew led by Captain Hook. Details on Barrie's conception of Captain Hook are lacking, but it seems he was inspired by at least one historical privateer, and possibly by Robert Louis Stevenson's Long John Silver as well. [http://www.literarytraveler.com/authors/captain_hook.aspx The Real Life and Fictional Characters Who Inspired J.M. Barrie's Captain Hook] In film adaptations released in 1924, 1953, and 2003, Hook's dress, as well as the attire of his crew, corresponds to stereotypical notions of pirate appearance.

* "Il pirata" (The Pirate) is an opera by Vincenzo Bellini, 1827
* "The Pirates of Penzance", a comic operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan contains a Pirate King and a crew of orphan pirates.
* "Pirates of the Mediterranean is a play done in Malta parodying various classical stories.


Peter Pan was first a book and was adapted many times including the widely known Disney version. Peter and the Starcatchers is a book written by Ridley Pearson. Ridley has written two other sequels to Peter and The Starcatchers (Captain Hook is given a different name in these books). PeterPan was made into a broadway play in the late 1900s. The play is now closed, but the story is still popular. It was made into a ride at the Disney World Resort in Florida. Captain Hook is the villan in Peter Pan and is one of the most commonly known pirates to date. The movie "Hook" was a sequel to Peter Pan made in the 1990s. Disney made its own sequel to Peter pan a few years ago called "Peter Pan in Return to Neverland" Tinkerbell, Peter's beloved fairy sidekick now has her own book series and a movie called "Tinkerbell" coming to DVD and Blu-Ray late 2008.

The 1950 film adaption of "Treasure Island", as well as the 1954 sequel "Long John Silver" starred Robert Newton, and is considered highly influential on the modern perception of early pirates. [cite web|last=Bonanos |first=Christopher |title=Did Pirates Really Say "Arrrr"? The origin of Hollywood's high-seas slang. |work=Slate |date=2007-06-05 |publisher=Washington Post Newsweek Interactive Co |url=http://www.slate.com/id/2167567 |accessdate=2008-03-23]

*"The Black Pirate", a 1926 film starring Douglas Fairbanks.
*"Captain Blood", a 1935 film starring Errol Flynn.
*"The Sea Hawk", a 1940 film starring Errol Flynn.
*"The Black Swan", a 1942 film starring Tyrone Power, Maureen O'Hara, and Anthony Quinn.
*"Anne of the Indies", a 1951 adventure film loosely based on the life of Anne Bonny (Jean Peters) with Louis Jourdan and Thomas Gomez as Blackbeard.
* "The Crimson Pirate", a 1952 adventure film, starring Burt Lancaster.
*The animated films of Japanese director Leiji Matsumoto include several pirate characters, including Captain Harlock and Queen Emeraldas, the best known of these pieces being Galaxy Express 999 (1977) and Space Battleship Yamato (1974).
*"Piraty XX veka", a 1979 Soviet adventure film about modern piracy.
* "The Island" (1980), a film based on Peter Benchley's novel.
* "The Pirate Movie" (1982), an Australian film loosely based on "The Pirates of Penzance", stars Christopher Atkins and Kristy McNichol.
*"Nate and Hayes", a 1983 film based on the adventures of the notorious Bully Hayes, a pirate in the South Pacific in the late 19th Century. Also known as "Savage Islands".
* "Yellowbeard" A 1983 film starring Graham Chapman as Yellowbeard the pirate
*"Pirates", a 1986 Roman Polanski comic/adventure film starring Walter Matthau.
*"The Princess Bride" A 1987 film adaptation of the William Goldman novel that has "The Dread Pirate Roberts" as one of its central characters.
*"Cutthroat Island", a 1995 Renny Harlin film that was a notable flop, starring Geena Davis
* In "Shakespeare in Love" (1998) Shakespeare has writer's block. Eventually he decides to write "Romeo and Ethel The Pirate's Daughter"
*' (2003), ' (2006) and "" (2007), movies based on the popular Disneyland attraction, "Pirates of the Caribbean."


*"Captain Pugwash" a series of British children's animated television programmes, comic strips and books, first shown on the BBC in 1957.
*"TaleSpin" (1990) featured the air pirate Don Karnage who always tried to steal goods and sometimes treasures from Baloo.
*"The Pirates of Dark Water" is a Hanna-Barbera animated series of the 1990s.
* The singing and dancing pirates Nasty Max, Mighty Matt, Massmedia and Sleazeappeal from the animated series "Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea".
*"Pirates" was a 1994 children's sitcom about a family of pirates living in a council house.
*"Black Lagoon" is a 2006 anime about pirates in the South China Sea. It is a somewhat realistic look at the underlying themes of modern day piracy.
*"One Piece" (1999 onwards), the animated adaptation of the Japanese comic of the same name (see below).
* The animated series SpongeBob SquarePants' theme song is sung by Painty the Pirate, voiced by Pat Pinney. Certain episodes are also introduced by Patchy the Pirate, portrayed by Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants. Also in some of the Spongebob episodes there is a character called The Flying Dutchman who is a pirate ghost.
* In "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!", they faced the ghost of Redbeard.


*"The Pirate" is a novel by Sir Walter Scott
* Byron's poem "The Corsair" (1814) concerns a pirate captain. It directly inspired Berlioz' overture "Le Corsair" (1844). A similar tale of pirates and slaves is Tim Severin's novel "Corsair" (2007).
*"Treasure Island" (1883) is the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.
*Peter Benchley's 1979 novel "The Island", and the 1980 movie adaptation for which he wrote the screenplay, feature a latter-day band of pirates who prey on civilian shipping in the Caribbean.
*The Dealings of Captain Sharkey and other tales of pirates Was a 1922 novel written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle famous for his stories of Sherlock Holmes.
*"The Princess Bride" A 1973 novel written by William Goldman that has "The Dread Pirate Roberts" as one of its central characters.
*"The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists" (2004) by Gideon Defoe is a surreal adventure with stereotypical pirates and Charles Darwin. Featuring The Pirate With A Scarf. Defoe has written subsequent books involving the same pirate crew and their anachronistic, absurd adventures.
*"Bloody Jack" is a historical novel by L.A. Meyer
*"Sandokan" is a series of pirate novels by Emilio Salgari.
*"The Piratica Series", a series of pirate novels by Tanith Lee published in 2004, 2006, and 2007.
*"Sea Witch" a pirate novel for adults by Helen Hollick published in 2006 by DA Diamonds. UK High sea adventure with a touch of fantasy and a dash of romance!
*"Ragnar Danneskjöld" is a fictional pirate in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, whose activities are motivated by radical pro-capitalist ideology.
*"The Government Manual for New Pirates" is a book written to all folks young and old seeking to become a pirate written and unveiling all aspects of the life it brings by Matthew David Brozik and Jacob Sager Weinstein

Comics and Manga

* "Terry and the Pirates" (1934-1973) by Milton Caniff is an adventure comic strip frequently set among modern-day pirates of China and Southeast Asia, led by the notorious Dragon Lady.
* "" (1994) and Elseworlds comic by Chuck Dixon featuring Batman as a pirate.
* "The Red Seas" (2002 onwards), a mix of pirates and strange phenomena by Ian Edginton and Steve Yeowell.
* "One Piece" (1997-onwards), set in a fictional world where piracy is at its height, the World Government and its Navy attempt to put it to a stop, and one young man desires to become the next Pirate King. One of the most popular manga to date in Japan.
* "Outlaw Star" , the primary antagonists of the series are members of the Pirate's Guild, a large network of space pirate clans throughout the universe.
* "Watchmen" features a comic-book inside the comics named "Tales of the Black Freighter". The "Watchmen" comic-book claims that in a world where super-heroes are alive and known, then instead of comics dealing with super-heroes, more comics dealing with pirates would be written.
* "Sea Monsters" (2006-) by Gwendolyn Meer is an action/adventure and comedy webcomic starring infamous pirates Anne Bonny, Mary Read, and Calico Jack Rackham (among others) as modern-day pirates in the Mediterranean area.

Pirates in music

* Pop stars have long been drawn towards pirate culture, due to its disestablishmentism and motley dress. An early 1960s British pop group called itself Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, and wore eye patches while they performed. Keith Moon, drummer of The Who, was a fan of Robert Newton. Flogging Molly, The Briggs, Dropkick Murphys, The LeperKhanz, The Coral, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Bullets And Octane, Mad Caddies, The Vandals, Gnarkill, Armored Saint, Jimmy Buffett, and Stephen Malkmus have pirate-themed songs as well.
* Easily the most elaborate example of songs in this Rock sub genre is "Pirates" by Emerson, Lake & Palmer a massive, 13 minute long performance piece from their 1977 tour, it features the Orchestra de L'Opera de Paris. The piece can be found on the album "Works, volume 1"
* German metal band Running Wild adopted a "pirate metal" image in 1987, with its third album.. The Texas punk group Employer, Employee was considered "pirate rock" by its fans, as its lyrics often contained themes of piracy ("One Count of Mutiny"), as well as the 16th-century New World in general.
* The Sex Pistols adapted the saucy song "Good Ship Venus" as their hit "Friggin' in the Rigging". Fellow Malcolm McLaren protegée Adam Ant took the pirate image further. One of the tracks on the album "Kings of the Wild Frontier" was called "Jolly Roger".
* In 1986, The Beastie Boys paid homage to the pirate lifestyle on their "Licensed to Ill" album with the song "Rhymin' and Stealin'". The song is filled with piratical and nautical phrasing liberally mixed with 1980s hip-hop references.
* Mutiny is an Australian pirate themed folk-punk band with releases on Fistolo Records.
* Pirate imagery has also been adopted by many anarchists, possibly due to the origins of the black flag of anarchism in the pirate flag, and due to books like The Many Headed Hydra by Marcus Rediker, about the early resistance to capitalism and colonialism, and Pirate Utopias, by Paul Lamborn Wilson, otherwise known as Hakim Bey. According to several authors, the pirate ship was among the most democratic institutions of the colonial age.
* Pirates also occasionally rival vampires as themes for goth music, fashion, and imagery. Goth musician/comedian Voltaire illustrates the sometimes humorous rivalry between vampiric and pirate camps of goths in the song "Vampire Club" from the album "Boo Hoo" (2002).
* The Jolly Rogers is a pirate-themed Renaissance Faire musical troupe based in Kansas City.
* The hardcore/pop punk band Set Your Goals will soon be releasing their first, pirate themed, full length album, "Mutiny!".
* The Ska/Punk band the Aquabats recorded a song entitled "Captain Hampton and the Midget Pirates", which told the story of Jim, a young boy who joins a pirate-hunting crew headed by Captain Hampton.
* "The Pirate", a musical starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly, has a number of songs about piracy in general, and the dread pirate "Mack the Black" Macoco in particular.
* Relient K released a single covering the song "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" for the children's show VeggieTales. It was originally recorded by the cast of VeggieTales, and Relient K's version of the song was later included in the 2003 compilation album called "Veggie Rocks!"
* There is a metal band from Calgary, Alberta, Canada called Verbal Deception that base their music on pirates and life at sea. They have recently released their debut album called "AURUM AETUS PIRATICUS".
* Scottish pirate metal band Alestorm are a band who use pirates as their main theme. The band play such songs as "Captain Morgan's Revenge", "No Quarter", "Set Sail and Conquer" and "Terror on the High Seas". Their fans are encouraged to dress up as pirates and bring props to concerts.
*Irish-American Rebel Rock band The Bleeding Irish have numerous songs referring to Pirate history and Piracy in general, most notably their latest hit "Tale of Anne Bonney". A song about the life and death of female Irish Pirate Anne Bonney and her love affair with Calico Jack Rackham.
*British metal band, "Peglegger", base their lyrics and riffs upon that of old pirate tales and folk music. Another example of the genre of pirate metal. "Peglegger"s most notable song is "Battle Cry".
* Leeds - UK based pirate metal band "Skull Branded Pirates" again use pirates as their main musical theme, with a style more akin to a blend of NWOBHM and Thrash metal than the power metal style used by other bands. "Skull Branded Pirates" currently available songs are "Stormed and Cursed Seas" and "Far Beyond Forever"
* Captain Dan & the Scurvy Crew make pirate-themed rap music.
* Latvia entered with " Pirates Of The Sea ", sung by " Wolfes Of The Sea " in Eurovision Song Contest 2008.
* Jimmy Buffet, an island music player, is famous for many different songs that incorporate pirates such as 'A Pirate Looks At Forty'.

Video games

* "Sid Meier's Pirates!" by Sid Meier is a well-known video game featuring pirates.
* The pirate-themed "Monkey Island" series of computer games is inspired by Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride and set in the 17th century Caribbean- starring the "hero" pirate Guybrush Threepwood and the "evil" pirate LeChuck.
* "" features pirates such as Tetra and her crew.
* "" features pirate-themed enemies and locations, including the recurring villain King K. Rool now named Kaptain K. Rool and dressed as a pirate captain.
* "Uncharted Waters" is a series of computer games by Koei set in the Age of Exploration where the player takes the role of a naval fleet captain. All the games feature pirates as regular threats and it is possible to play with pirate characters in some of the iterations.
*"Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates" is a massively multiplayer online game in which the player takes the role of a pirate, having adventures on the high seas and pillaging money from roaming enemy ships.
*"Pirates, Vikings and Knights II" is a multiplayer video game in which players can play as a team of highly stereotypical pirates.
* "Skies of Arcadia" is a computer game about a group of air pirates that struggle against an oppressive power threatening to take over and destroy the world.
* "Maple Story" has added a Pirate job class.
* "Rogue Galaxy" is a computer game in which the main character, Jaster Rogue joins a crew of space pirates to help defeat an oppressive empire.
* "Final Fantasy XII" has many characters, including Balthier are sky pirates. Also, Faris in Final Fantasy V and Leila in Final Fantasy II are pirates.
* "Lego Racers" first boss is Captain Redbeard. When he is beaten, you can build cars using "pirated-themed" lego pieces.
* "Loot", a card game made by Gamewright.
* "" is an adventure video puzzle game for the Nintendo Wii
* In Suikoden IV there are a great deal of pirates to encounter and recruit.
* "Sonic Rush Adventure" takes place in a pirate-themed world. This includes a robot pirate named Captain Whisker.
* " " from EA is a mix of third-person adventure and sea battles.
* " Star Wars Empire At War" contains a non-playable faction called the Black Sun Pirates, a large gang of mercenaries.
* " Pirates feature as a character class in several Fire Emblem games.
* " Megaman Battle Network 6" a WWW member named Captain Blackbeard, an operator of Diveman.EXE who dressed as a sailor.

Pirates in sports

Because pirate ships connote fearsomeness, loyalty and teamwork, many professional and amateur sports teams are named "Pirates." The most famous of these in the United States is the Pittsburgh Pirates, a Major League Baseball team that has used the nickname since 1891.

***Pittsburgh Pirates - Major League Baseball
***Amsterdam Pirates - Dutch Baseball League
**Ice Hockey
***Portland Pirates - American Hockey League
***Tampa Bay Buccaneers - National Football League
***Oakland Raiders - National Football League
***Wörthersee Piraten - Österreichische Basketball Bundesliga, Austria
***Tampa Bay Mutiny - Major League Soccer
***Orlando Pirates - Premier Soccer League, South Africa
***Bristol Rovers FC - Football League One, England
**Rugby League
***Canberra Raiders - National Rugby League, Australia

**Texas Tech Red Raiders - Big 12 Conference
**East Carolina Pirates - Conference USA
**East Tennessee State Buccaneers - Southern Conference
**Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders - Sun Belt Conference
**Mount Union Purple Raiders - Ohio Athletic Conference
**Seton Hall Pirates - Big East Conference
** UMass Dartmouth Corsairs - Little East Conference
**Mass Maritime Buccaneers - Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference
**Tottenville Pirates
**Richmond Renegades - Southern Professional Hockey League
**Prince Albert Raiders - Western Hockey League
**Rochester Raiders - Great Lakes Indoor Football League
* Rugby Union
**Cornish Pirates


ee also

*"Barret's Privateers" is a song popular in Nova Scotia detailing the fictional story of Elcid Barret and his privateers and their voyage on the Antalope to raid American shipping vessels.
* Pro wrestler Paul Burchill from "WWE Friday Night SmackDown" dressed like a pirate and claimed that Blackbeard is his great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. Previously, Carl Ouellet wrestled as Jean-Pierre Lafitte (supposedly a descendant of pirate Jean Lafitte).
*Maddox (writer) often portrays himself as a pirate on his website The Best Page in the Universe.

External links

* [http://www.stfrancis.edu/historyinthemovies/Pirates.htm Movie History]
* [http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/shanty/elpirate.htm Lyrics for Pirate Shanty] from Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's 1977 Works Volume 1
* [http://www.bonaventure.org.uk/ed/code.htm The Pirates' Code] : the history behind it
* [http://www.piratesmagazine.com Pirates Magazine]
* [http://www.bilgemunky.com Bilgemunky.com] includes many pirate-themed reviews of music, clothing, games, and rum.
* [http://www.ThePirateKing.com/movies/ Complete list of every Pirate Movie ever made] from the silent era to present day
* [http://www.talklikeapirate.com/ International Talk Like A Pirate Day]
* [http://www.youthonline.ca/pirates/glossary.shtml Youth Pirate Glossary]
* [http://voyager.commendo.com/video_talk_like_pirate/ Talk Like A Pirate Video Clips]
* [http://www.internationalpiratesociety.org The International Pirate Society featuring the only official all Pyrate conference in the country]
* [http://www.pyratecon.com The official web site for the annual PyrateCon Convention held in New Orleans]

Roleplaying, Reenactments, and Other Games

* [http://www.piratesoftibia.com The Pirates of Tibia]
* [http://www.piratebrethren.com/forum/ The Pirate Brethren Web Forum]
* [http://www.noquartergiven.net No Quarter Given]
* [http://www.gentlemenoffortune.com Gentlemen of Fortune]
* [http://www.searlesbuccaneers.org Searle's Buccaneers]
* [http://www.dirtyrottenoar.com/ The Crew of the Dirty Rotten Oar]

Pirate Accent

* [http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003597.html Pirate R as in I-r-eland?] An exploration of the "r" in pirate speech
* [http://www.bonaventure.org.uk/ed/language.htm Pirate Language]
* [http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/30484 Where did pirate speech come from?]

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