Song of the Day: Hoist the Colours by Hans Zimmer

“Hoist the Colours” is a musical theme composed and conducted by Hans Zimmer for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. It appears as track one on the film’s soundtrack, at 1:31 in length.

Lyrics:

Yo, Ho haul together, hoist the colours high
Heave ho, thieves and beggars, never shall we die
Yo, Ho haul together, hoist the colours high
Heave ho, thieves and beggars, never shall we die

The King and his men stole the queen from her bed
and bound her in her bones
The seas be ours and by the powers
Where we will…we’ll roam

Yo, Ho haul together, hoist the colours high
Heave ho, thieves and beggars, never say we die

Some men have died and some are alive

And others sail on the sea
With the keys to the cage
And the devil to pay
We lay to Fiddler’s Green!

Yo, Ho haul together, hoist the colours high
Heave ho, thieves and beggars, never shall we die

The bell has been raised from its watery grave
Do you hear its sepulchral tone?
A Call to all, pay heed to the squall
And turn your sail towards home!

Yo, Ho haul together, hoist the colours high
Heave ho, thieves and beggars, never shall we die

Other lyrics

There are different versions of this song, some including the different writings of “colors” and “colours”. Others by changing a lyric or two in each, in which several examples stand out.

This small piece was used at the beginning of At World’s End:

Yo ho, all hands, hoist the colors high
Heave ho, thieves and beggars, never shall we die

This small piece was sung at the beginning of a featurette for At World’s End:

Yo ho, all hands, raise the colors high
Heave ho, thieves and beggers, never say we die

This small piece was used in the original lyrics:

Yo ho, haul together, raise the colors high
Heave ho, thieves and beggers, never say we die

……

The track begins with snare drums and a lonely chime, followed by a boy singing a pirate shanty. A rabble of pirates continue the song, and the track ends with snare drums and a chain rattle.

The song is sung by those condemned to death by the East India Trading Company in the film’s opening scene, and a refrain is later sung by Elizabeth Swann in Singapore. The cue returns in various forms—usually as an orchestral underscore—throughout the film, most notably as the Pirate Lords assemble and literally “hoist the colours”.

“The one that was really interesting is the Snopes legend. You know the Web site Snopes has that section about ‘fake true American legends.’ One of them is the idea that the four and twenty blackbirds baked into a pie was Blackbeard’s recruiting song. When Blackbeard came into port, these people would go around and sing this song when he was looking for a crew. It was just such a fun idea and it’s a shame it’s not true, so we decided to make it true and the song ‘Hoist the Colors,’ sung at the beginning and Keira sings it and it’s referenced in a couple of ways, every one of the verses tells the story of Davy Jones and Calypso. It starts with ‘the king and his men stole the queen from her bed’… We sat down and wrote that out and it’s based on a fake legend from the Snopes Web site.”―Ted Elliott

  • The lyrics were written by Pirates screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, with the assistance of director Gore Verbinski. Sung in the beginning of At World’s End, the song was referenced in a couple of ways, every one of the verses told the story of Davy Jones andCalypso; starting with “the king and his men stole the queen from her bed,” the song also relayed the First Brethren Court.
  • The main title of the song is controversial, in which either “colors” or “colours” were used. In the At World’s End soundtrack and various other material, “colours” is used. While in the original song lyrics and the subtitles to the film itself, had the term written as “colors”.
  • The song was inspired by the Snopes legend, claiming that the children’s nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence” was used by confederates of the notorious pirate Blackbeard as a coded reference to recruit crew members. Although the information from Snopes itself is false, Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio liked the idea enough to create Hoist the Colors, basing it on the fake legend.

Hans Zimmer

Birth name Hans Florian Zimmer
Born 12 September 1957 (age 56)
Frankfurt am Main, West Germany
Genres Film score, video game score
Occupations Film composer, video game composer, music producer
Instruments Piano, keyboard, MIDI master keyboard, synthesizer, guitar,Cubase
Years active 1977–present
Labels Remote Control Productions
Website http://www.hanszimmer.com
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One Response to Song of the Day: Hoist the Colours by Hans Zimmer

  1. Teana king says:

    Love this song big big fan

    Like

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