Theme: Pirates

It started shortly after Christmas. The children had watched The Muppet Christmas Carol approximately 982356362 times and I was verrrrry close to declaring myself all done with Michael Cain (which I think is illegal), so I used some Amazon credit to buy them this movie.

Treasure Island is one of Will’s favorite of the adventure stories for boys* and he had often spoken fondly of the Muppet version, which I had never seen, so we made a family event of it. Everyone loved it and Sam became quite enamored of the music.

By a stroke of luck, we had bought a lot of Playmobil during a huge sale at Thanksgiving, including a Pirate Ship that was officially Grace’s birthday present (because it is seaworthy and she loves baths)–but luckily she is not possessive of it! Sam began asking nightly to play pirates with Daddy, and would set up the ship, along with (sometimes) a castle and our old west saloon.

[french fries not necessary to play, but helpful for keeping little sister busy.]

Then one day Will discovered that the 1980 film version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance was on Netflix instant. And, well.

I am not sure that a single day goes by when Sam does not ask for his “Pirate King.” At first this only meant the movie, but we wised up and bought him the original cast recording for his birthday so now he asks to hear the music more frequently. He also asks to sing the songs, but prefers to do that with Daddy (I really don’t know the words, and anyway I do it wrong).

With his speech issues, the lyrics are the last thing Sam figures out to a song, but he has a real ear for melody and timing. He sings all the different parts, or tells us when it’s our turn (and woe betide us if we do not jump in fast enough–see above, re: me doing it wrong).

To keep with the theme that had naturally occurred, I bought Sam the DK Eyewitness Pirate book. The style of the DK books is still a little old for Sam (and frankly, I don’t think it’s very well organized), but he humors me and looks at it with me occasionally.

Up next: more pirate books, a cheesy-looking pirate movie from the 60s (The Boy and the Pirates) that I found on Netflix, and a mama-made pirate costume!

*I don’t believe for one minute that adventure stories are just for boys. I’m referring to the subgenre of books that star young boys doing grown-up things and were originally written for boys, like Treasure Island and The Jungle Book, and the wonderful movies that followed. There are a few books like them for girls, but those are rarer.

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5 thoughts on “Theme: Pirates

  1. <3!!! I love imagining Will singing Pirates of Penzance with Sam (even though I've never met Sam). So fun.

  2. This reminds me so much of when I was little and became enraptured by the D’Oyly Carte recording of HMS Pinafore. I used to pore over the cover of the boxed album as I sang along to ” I am the Captain of the Pinafore” and all the rest. When the company came to San Francisco, my parents decided to take me to the theatre, even though I think I couldn’t have been more than 5. When the curtain rose, it was THE EXACT SAME SET AS THE ALBUM!!! I was beside myself with delight. My parents say I was mesmerized through the whole production, softly singing along with the cast. I hope you get a chance someday to take Sam to see a live production. It won’t have Kevin Klein, though, which is a crying shame!

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