While most people are probably going to answer ‘Name a pirate’ with “Blackbeard” — by virtue of being viewed popularly as THE archetypal pirate, or Captain (Henry) Morgan — by virtue of being a popular adult beverage, you might hear “Anne Bonny” and/or “Mary Read” (easily the most famous female pirates), you might even get a couple “Barbarossa“-s from the people who really want to nerd out (or who are Turkish).
Similarly, I think you might a few “Captain (William) Kidd“-s from people who are either trying to be deliberately contrarian or who have a decent knowledge about Caribbean piracy. Again, Blackbeard is the pirate, but Captain Kidd was well-known during the actual Pirate Era and has been something of an enduring folkloric figure due to the fact he was one of the few pirates who actually did bury his treasure — and went to his grave taunting the British authorities that they’d never find it.
Incidentally, Captain Kidd is one of the more immediate real-life pirate inspirations to Realmgard. We’ve got, of course, the fact that Dunstana is “Captain Kid.” But, also, the fact that one of reputed locations of Captain Kidd’s treasure is Oak Island, Nova Scotia is the inspiration for the fact that famous Realmgardian pirate William Newgate buried his treasure on Oake Island.
For what it’s worth, I’m of the mind that there’s nothing significant on the real Oak Island…
Notably, Captain Kidd’s life was memorialised in the folk ballad Captain Kidd almost immediately — both Kidd’s execution for piracy and the first printing of the song apparently took place in 1701.
In brief, the song is sung from Captain Kidd’s perspective, reflecting on his various misdeeds and meeting a sorry end. Fundamentally, it’s a moral lesson that boils down to “Don’t Be a Pirate.”
“My name is Captain Kidd
As I sailed, as I sailed
Oh my name is Captain Kidd as I sailed
My name is Captain Kidd
And God’s laws I did forbid
And most wickedly I did as I sailed.”
FYI: you can replace “God’s laws I did forbid” and/or “Most wickedly I did” with “I am a Giant Squid” and the metre still holds up.
Now, again, as a traditional folk song that’s 300 years old, Captain Kidd has near-infinite variations and permutations, but to get some CanCon in, I’m doing to be sharing the Great Big Sea version.
Probably one of the most popular Canadian bands within Canada itself — and, as TV Tropes notes, Great Big Sea is” the most well-known [band from] outside Newfoundland for being from Newfoundland“— Great Big Sea also had a certain level of success on the US charts, but never became huge — though you may recognise face of band and Russell Crowe‘s pal Alan Doyle from the 2010 Russell Crowe Robin Hood — shockingly, he was the bard, the eerily-similarly named Alan A’Dayle (it would not be shocked if that was a conscious casting decision)
Now, being a folk music band from Newfoundland, it’s not exactly shocking that Great Big Sea does a lot of songs about sailing and the ocean, so a song about a famous pirate fits right in.
A reminder to check out the Lord of the Rings giveaway I’m involved in:
And another reminder to check out Realmgard’s very own Captain Kid and her sister here:
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