Icarus was a test pilot (galwithglasses) wrote,
Icarus was a test pilot

  • Music:

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

Before I was a fangirl for anything else, I loved pirates.  The bumper around the edge of my crib had three small sailors and the caption 'yo ho ho and a bottle of milk'.  My Mom had the soundtrack for the musical Peter Pan with Mary Martin in the title role and Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook.  I loved the music, especially the Pirate Song.  Every year or so, the musical would be shown on TV and despite the fact that I was scared of just about everything, I loved Captain Hook.  This was long before I had any real idea of what pirates were or what they did.  I really wasn't aware that he was supposed to be the villain, he just had this riveting presence.  He danced and sang and he had the best red (black and gray on our TV) coat, amazing boots and the grandest hat I'd ever seen.  Yo Ho!

Fabulous, isn't he?

I also had a big book of Disney stories with lots of characters on the cover and Captain Hook was there.  I spent enough time with the book open looking at the outside cover that it eventually came off.  He was still rocking the coat and hat.

Eventually, I figured out that he wasn't someone I was supposed to want to be.  Worse yet, he couldn't fly, so I switched my allegiance to Peter Pan.  So fickle.  But even then, my first Halloween costume was a pirate and I've been one a lot of years since.  I was dressed like a pirate on my first date with the guy I eventually married.  I always dressed more like the crew - I'm still working up to the hat and coat.

Sir Ian got one when he was Captain Hook in a Christmas pantomime.

Look, even David Hasselhoff got a great one.  I think I wanted the bling without having to wear a princess dress or get a prince.

Beyond the coat, hat and boots though, I liked the romantic version of the pirates because they were fearless and bold and I wanted to be that as a kid.  There was that whole scared-of-the-crocodile thing but I could understand that.  I hated being the powerless, fearful girl I felt like I was.  Pirates were about as far from that as I could get.  I didn't really get to see stories of girls doing the rescuing or the big adventuring until I was much older.  No sword fighting, firing cannons or climbing the rigging.  Even then, younger than kindergarden, I could see the allure of running away to sea and becoming someone new.  

No one would surrender to the Dread Pirate Westley.

Still, all children, except one, grow up.  I realized that I'm not really cut out for a life of crime and violence and that those romantic pirates never exist anywhere except in stories.  Being a girl turned out ok after all with plenty of adventure.  I still dream of running away to sea but now it is more for the chance to be on the water with the briny spray and the wind in my face than any sort of reincarnation.  I've kept my love of treasure maps and navigation charts, schooners and sea shanties.  And once a year, on Talk Like a Pirate Day, I spend some time contemplating what the neighbors' reactions might be if I flew the Jolly Roger from our flagpole.  As the flags next door are the US Navy and Marine Corps flags, I'm probably wise to stick to a few Arrrs dropped into conversation and let it go.  So here's a mug of grog raised to you.  Fair winds and following seas.

(The map is from a treasure hunt around the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World.)

Caps raided from everywhere, far and wide on the web with no permission asked and no quarter given.
Tags: pirates

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