Talk Like A Pirate Day – FOOT NOTE

Now for some important news.

I am happy to report that I was greeted a few times with “YARRRR!” yesterday, once in the bishop’s office.

A footnote is offered… just one foot-note, of course… to yesterday’s Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Frequent commentator here rbtbrown wrote saying, and posting the link:

All movie pirates are a footnote to Robert Newton

You decide.

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15 Responses to Talk Like A Pirate Day – FOOT NOTE

  1. Faith says:

    A seminarian intern at my parish taught us all how to pray like a pirate.

    Y — You
    A — Acknowledge God and your relationship to Him
    R — Relate to Him, talk to Him
    R — Receive God’s grace
    R — Respond in love

  2. MariaKap says:


  3. gracie says:

    I see that Captain Silver talked of death, final judgement, and the dead pirate having to give an account of his life, in a mainstream movie that went out to children everywhere, and no one batted an eye. It gives a window onto a different era, when such a eulogy was considered normal to put into a scene to show what all we kids knew – that Silver may be a pirate but he took off his hat to God, showing he was a good pirate! and he was our pirate! and he was going to save Jim!!!

  4. Kathleen10 says:

    He’s the template ahlrright. I too loved the respect shown for the dead and for God. Even pirates had morals and spirituality. Arrmen. lol, excellent.
    Just curious now, would anybody be sayin that pirates talk with an Irish brogue? I ahlways wonder if that be the origin of that manner of speakin. It has that ring, don’t it now.

  5. jflare says:

    On a note slightly off the beaten path, I’m going to guess that Mr. Newton smoked quite a little or gave his voice rather a brutal time with his speaking. ..Or both. I’m not a vocal coach or expert, but his voice has something of a rasp to it that I’ve only associated with smokers or with people who sing at the back of their throat. Neither is good for the voice.
    Interesting that I can’t remember ever watching a movie with him in it, but the voice is very familiar anyway.

  6. Allan S. says:

    I am please that you no longer seem to be living as much of a solitary life, Father. Your move seems to have placed you in the good company of men and clerics willing to share your foxhole with you (or at least furnish it with supplies and the occasional company). A nice reminder that what feels like a lonely battle isn’t completely without confreres.

    Of course, the real battle is against only one Enemy – the distraction of his infernal agents and lackeys inside the wire notwithstanding.

  7. SPWang says:

    just one foot-note, of course…
    I saw what you did there.

  8. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Thank you! This is delightfully done!

    It would be a treat if Caedmon or somebody had got him to do an audiobook of Treasure Island (but I have not found any evidence of any such thing, so far).

    LibriVox has several, however, and the one by Adrian Praetzellis – called “Version 2” – sounds good (on the basis of trying the first few minutes). It’s been variously reloaded on YouTube, too – where there is also a promising abridged professional version (around 2 hours 56 minutes long) with the reader identified as Bill Wallis.

    Somebody in the IMDB Robert Newton trivia describes this as a “Pseudo-Cornish accent” (I don’t know how justly) and says it was very influential as to how pirates have been depicted, since, in various media – which I can well believe!

    The attention to heaven and judgement seems to presuppose the viewer will know orthodox teaching and be able to see how the pirates have garbled it in detail.

  9. Stephen D says:

    Kathleen10, Pirate talk is basically west country English, still spoken by older men especially in the ports of Devon and Cornwall whence most English pirates would have hailed.

  10. Kathleen10 says:

    StephenD, thank you. It is a very interesting dialect.

  11. Arrrrgh. The verdict is in, me hearties!

  12. The Masked Chicken says:

    Okay, boys, were gonna go out there and whip some cubs butt. I wanna see a perfect game. No walks, no runs, got it…? I’m gonna change the starting line up…


    Oh, those pirates…

    Well, you know that yo, ho, ho, backwards, is oy, oh, oh, which is what every Jewish mother says when little Malachi comes in at 2:00 am. Speaking of which, have you every seen a Jewish pirate? I smell a conspiracy…

    The Chicken

    [Can you picture it? “Arrr! I rampage! I maraud! Und ver dos it get me? Six children und a veif vit da mustache!]

  13. AnAmericanMother says:

    Dear Chicken,

    Never say never . . .

    Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean

    As the Gaels say, “Many a thing he’ll see who lives long.”

  14. gracie says:


    You can see Robert Newton as a young man in Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Jamaica Inn’:

  15. robtbrown says:

    jflare says:

    On a note slightly off the beaten path, I’m going to guess that Mr. Newton smoked quite a little or gave his voice rather a brutal time with his speaking. ..Or both. I’m not a vocal coach or expert, but his voice has something of a rasp to it that I’ve only associated with smokers . . .

    Don’t know about him smoking, but I would describe him as “whiskey voiced” or a man whose voice is “bourbon soaked”. That fits his Wiki bio–he died at 50 as a chronic alcoholic.

    BTW, this is also from Wikipedia:

    Newton is best remembered for his portrayal of the feverish-eyed Long John Silver in the 1950 film adaptation of Treasure Island, the film that became the standard for screen portrayals of historical pirates. Hailing from the West Country, his exaggeration of his West Country accent is credited with popularising the stereotypical “pirate voice” and he has become the “patron saint” of the annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day. He was the first actor to employ the phrase “Arrrrh, matey!”.

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