How a Blackbeard legend inspired Davy Jones’ story


Davy Jones’ story with Calypso is teased through a POTC song, inspired by a legend in which Blackbeard used coded lyrics to recruit sailors.

Davy Jones story in Pirates of the Caribbean was partly inspired by an ingenious legend of Blackbeard. When the first of Disney’s Swashbuckling Adventures came out in 2003, expectations were low for a movie based on a theme park ride, and there hadn’t been a successful pirate flick in years. decades. However, the supernatural blockbuster would then spawn a billion dollar franchise, with writers turning to various nautical legends to influence their plots.

Introduced in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s ChestBilly Nighy’s Davy Jones remains one of the show’s highlights, both for the impressive CGI design and for the sheer villainy of the character. However, Jones’ tragic backstory was woven into the narrative even before his first appearance, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End finally revealed his betrayal of the lover and sea goddess Calypso / Tia Dalma (Naomi Harris).

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Speaking of the movie (via Mojo ticket office), screenwriters Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio discussed their various influences for the series, including Davy Jones and the supernatural Flying Dutchman. One of these was a song believed to be related to Blackbeard’s particular method of recruiting sailors, which was later incorporated into At the end of the world with “Hoist the colors”. Inspired by the song’s coded message, the writers used their own lyrics to tease Jones’ backstory.


Ted Elliot quotes a detailed overview (via Snopes) on the myth behind “Sing a Song of Sixpence” as a major influence. According to legend, when Blackbeard arrived at a port, his men sang this song to alert people nearby that he was looking for a crew. Each verse contained a secret message about Blackbeard’s service, which was secretly teased in the first film. The reference to six pence was meant to be the daily payment sailors would receive, while “Eighty and twenty blackbirds / Baked in a pie”Transmitted his method of surprise attacks by pretending to need help to lure passing ships into a trap. The writers were disappointed to learn that this was just a myth. Therefore, according to Elliot, “we decided to make it real. “The opening of At the end of the world features prisoners walking towards the gallows while singing “Hoist the Colors”, with the melody resonating sort of in pieces of eight. Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) then rehearses the song as she cruises through Singapore.

The song is considered perilous because it is a rallying call to other pirates, which is exactly what the Black Pearl crew desires. Elizabeth memorably invites another rendition of this song before the film’s climax, when the pirate army prepares for battle. However, initially unbeknownst to Pirates of the Caribbean, the song’s lyrics secretly detail the origin of the captain of the Flying Dutchman. By Elliot, “each of the verses tells the story of Davy Jones and Calypso. “This detail may go unnoticed upon initial viewing, especially with so many plot threads to follow; however, the song does indeed describe the freedom the pirates gained after trapping Calypso in human form.”The king and his men / Stole the queen from her bed / And tied her in his bonesClearly refers to the First Brethren Court, reminding listeners of the perceived power of the Pirate Lords, while also teasing the truth that Jones is helping them, this betrayal of Calypso ultimately leading to Davy Jones’ octopus appearance.

The song effectively reveals Jones’ backstory to the viewer in the opening minutes of the third film, showing how thoughtful the mythology of Gore Verbinski’s trilogy has been. Blackbeard (Ian McShane) would eventually appear in Pirates of the Caribbean, although as a disappointing villain, using an entirely different method of recruiting crew – his daughter Angelica (Penélope Cruz) poses as Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Instead, “Hoist the Colors” cleverly builds the mystique of the Brethren’s Court and secretly addresses Jones’ secret past without mentioning it by name.

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