Ahoy, mateys. For those of you who are unaware, Tuesday, Sept. 19 is the 16th annual National Talk Like a Pirate Day. Which is, of course, the coolest holiday since Christmas. Maybe it’s even cooler — because Santa Claus is awesome and all, but he’s not as awesome as Captain Jack Sparrow, is he? (And for you landlubbers who don’t believe this amazing if unnecessary holiday actually exists, click HERE.)
So to celebrate, we’ve (eye)patched together this collection of music videos that are sure to shiver your timbers. And if you don’t like ‘em, you can just go walk the plank…
Gwen Stefani with Eve, “Rich Girl”
Only two stylish, A-list wenches like these could come up with a trend like Pirate Chic. Shoulder-dwelling parrots practically became THE hot new accessory after this video came out.
Modest Mouse, “Dashboard”
This indie-rock band’s We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank was practically a nautical concept album, filled with briney imagery about sea-faring life. So it made perfect sense that the video for its lead single was almost like a mini-version of Moby Dick, The Musical.
The Flaming Lips, “Psychic Wall (Spongebob Theme)”
The wonderfully wacky Lips are the best costume band EVER (yes, even better than Village People), donning little-green-men facepaint for their movie Christmas on Mars and furry animal suits for their bizarre live shows. So for their Spongebob Movie theme song, dressing up like Jolly Roger was a totally logical move.
Ben Folds, “Learn to Live With What You Are”
Apparently what Ben Folds is is a piano-playing, street-roaming secret pirate-by-night. Hey, we can live with that.
Norah Jones, “Chasing Pirates”
Norah made a fine modern-day wench here, as she turned a New York tenement building into a landlocked pirate ship. What a great alternative to the NYC subway system.
Dan Deacon, “Paddling Ghost”
In this puppetastic video by the superstar DJ, a felt pirate ghost and his wacky pirate sidekicks embarked on a magical underwater journey so trippy, watching this will leave you feeling like you just drank a big mug of acid-spiked grog.
Adam Ant, “Strip”
OK, forget what we said about Gwen and Eve a few paragraphs ago. The real originator of Pirate Chic was Adam Ant, who back in the ‘80s made flouncy peasant blouses, pantaloons, and waistcoats seem like the sexiest thing a man could possibly wear. Unfortunately, most men couldn’t pull off Adam’s look with quite as much swashbuckling panache.
Flogging Molly, “Seven Deadly Sins”
What better way to celebrate this debauched holiday than with a sea shanty about “seven drunken pirates”? Pass the grog, please.
Captain Dan & The Scurvy Crew – “Pirate Rap”
Sure, some rappers and rockers today think they’re macho. But do they carry swords? Do they have pegs for legs or hooks for hands? Do they drink grog from mugs made out of stowaways’ skulls? Nope. So Captain Dan is the real gangsta here.
Lazy Town – “You Are a Pirate”
Usually a children’s music video that mentions the words “precious booty” would be suspect. But in this case, it’s totally appropriate.
Lambchop, “National Talk Like a Pirate Day”
Merge Records’ indie heroes Lambchop actually recorded an original song titled “National Talk Like a Pirate Day” for their 2008 album, OH. Sadly, they never shot any theme-specific pirate video complete with parrots, eyepatches, and pantaloons, but here’s a live clip from Merge’s 20th anniversary celebration. It’s still a great song to drink some grog to.