Friday, September 19, 2014

Arrrh is for Robert

Robert Newton's a jolly jack tar
With a parrot called Polly he'll spar
And this slimy ship's cook
Needs no eye-patch or hook
To let rip with a rollicking "ARRRH!"

David Cairns

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The day's patron saint is the late English actor Robert Newton, best remembered for playing the wild-eyed Long John Silver and inventing the phrase "Arrrgh, matey!" in the Walt Disney version of Treasure Island. That portrayal became the standard for screen portrayals of pirates and he is often credited with inventing the stereotypical "pirate voice" by exaggerating the accent of his native West Country.

Image: Robert Newton as Long John Silver in Treasure Island (Byron Haskin, 1950), with Bobby Driscoll. Newton also played the colorful pirate in Return to Treasure Island (54), Long John Silver (54), and a television series, The Adventures of Long John Silver (1955).

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