Monday, December 19, 2016

Pirate Christmas Songs

Christmas and piracy don’t seem to go together very well. From a purely historical perspective, Christmas was not a wildly celebrated holiday back in the Golden Age of Piracy. Today, however, Christmas, its planning, partying and purchasing go on for nearly six weeks in the US. So, in modern times, Christmas and pirates just HAD to find a way to go together.

We’ve already had a look at Pirate Santa. So this year, we’ll take a look – or a listen – with some of the popular pirate Christmas songs on YouTube. Yes, it’s a thing.

The first one is from one of my favorites. Tom Smith is a professional filk singer. That’s right – filk, not folk. Filk singing is defined as taking tunes from well-known songs and adding fresh lyrics, usually with a nerdy theme. Originally – back in the 1960’s when these dongs first achieved a name – nerdy meant science fiction, but it grew to include fantasy, and then later to attach itself to tunes and subjects from various popular TV shows. (The theme music from Gilligan’s Island has been used for multiple filk songs)

Tom manages to make his living playing at various conventions and events throughout the US, and he loves pirates. (One of his biggest hits informs us that Hermione Granger is, in fact, a Pirate Queen. She was born on September 19th, International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Tom is also writer of the official song of Talk Like a Pirate Day, called appropriately It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day

For Christmas, he gives us a medley of many classic Christmas tunes, with appropriately piratey alterations. Click on the link to enjoy. And feel free to check out Tom’s site and buy some of his work. I’ll guarantee you’ll enjoy.

Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers are a full-fledged band with an eclectic bluesy sound. Unlike many other pirate bands, they are not dependent on traditional songs or sea shanties.  These songs are new, fresh pirate material, rooted in the history of real pirates, and also in Caribbean rhythms. While Tom Smith sings about Jack Sparrow, Tom Mason is more likely to channel Blackbeard. These pirates aren’t sanitized. They’ve slit a few throats. But Santa Clause can bring out their best, as this song describes.

Don’t mess with Santa, even if you’re a pirate. And if you want to check out Tom and his crew, click here to pick up some pirate (but not pirated) downloads.

The Bilge Pumps don’t have nearly Tom Mason’s polish. But they do have a steel drum player who’s pretty good, and they aren’t ashamed to sing “Far Lar Lar Lar Lar, Lar Lar La Lar” while caroling. No, the music isn’t that tight, but with pirates, it’s personality that counts. The Bilge Pumps hale from Texas, and make most of their appearances a Ren Fairs and outdoor venues.  They’re not historical pirates, and they don’t confine themselves to fantasy realms, either. But it’s clear that they really, really wish they could be actual pirates.

This group has a variety of Christmas music, from More Rum, Gloria! to Pirating a Winter Wonderland, and A Pirate’s Christmas Wish but I’m going to give you their version of Deck the Halls. It’s not quite in tune, but it’s funny.

Our next video is form Captain Dan and the Scurvy Crew, a rap group that made it all the way to season seven of America’s Got Talent. Though they were eliminated in the Audition round, a clip form their album “Authentic Pirate Hip Hop” has garnered hundreds of thousands of YouTube hits.
These guys know their stuff, and they are unique in having noticed the similarities between pirates and rappers. (Huge reputation, huge piles of gold, huge number of female friends….)

This official video not only tells a pirate story, but utilizes the force of Lego for a vivid story-telling experience. Sadly, the pirates in this story aren’t redeemable, even by Santa. In other songs, they really ride the Hip-Hop dream, with songs like “It’s All About That Booty,” “Broadside” and “From the Seas to the Streets” these guys have a real street braggadocio.

That’s pretty much the end of this pirate post. The Holiday is coming fast. I wish you all a Merry Holiday Season, and a Profitable New Year. (And don't get caught by the Royal Navy!)

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