The Radio London
'Talk Like A Pirate' Guide
– from the offshore insiders

Mary 'Knautical Knees' Payne contacted a number of ex-offshore DJs to see if they could offer any of their expert advice on piratical pronunciation, high-seas etiquette, etc.

Steve 'Eurovision Shanty Contest' Young
The Curly Headed Kid in the Third Row, Radio Caroline

Arrrrrggggghhhhhheeeee and ahoy me Mateys!

Oi've given a lot o' thought as to what yer need in order to be a good Pirate, so listen-up whiles I tell 'ee what yer need to know.

Now, the farst thing ye has to reeemember about bein' a pirate, and talkin' loik one is that yer brain 'as to be mostly destroyed by rum! Yer can't be too smart if ye is a pirate...... 'specially if ye is a radio pirate...... and drinkin' lot's o' Cap'n Morgan's finest will addle yer brain so's ye can be sure ye'll always say stupid things on the air!

After that thar's a few other things yer need to know..... loik..... ye should always, always wear a stroiped shirt.... and it should always, always have the stroipes runnin' around and around yer big fat beer belly not up 'n down from yer tootsies to the top o' the greasy hair on yer head...... only dem convicts wot goes to Australia (like me old friend Webby the Black Beard) wot wears stroipes that way!

Next, yer should always be missin' a few front teeth.........arrrrgghhhh......yer probably lost them in a foight, or from a bout of scurvy....or maybe the ship's cap'n knocked dem out of yer mouth when he was in a bad mood and couldn't kick ye 'caus his wooden leg were pluggin' a hole in the soid of the ship.

Also, it helps (but it ain't necessarily, necessary) to be missin' one leg (which should be replaced with a piece o' wood shaped like a dog's hind leg....... the one wot it lifts up when it..... well, yer know what I mean) and yer should also be missin' an eye (which should be covered with a patch...... which should have a picture of a naked lass on the inside).

It's also a good idearr to have a parrot wot sits on yer shoulder........ jus' make sure ye has somethin' to clean up the poop wot the parrot leaves on yer shoulder. Make sure too that yer parrot can squawk "Pieces of 8, pieces of 8"...... jes don't make the mistake me ole buddy Long John Rosko made..... he had a bird he thought was a parrot but 'twere a Miner Bird wot used to dig around in his ear for nuggets o' hot wax...... so when Long John Rosko said "Here's some more hot wax fer yer to listen too" he didn't mean a 45 rpm record!!!

Now let's talk about talkin'..... yer should always, always say "arrrrggggghhhhhheeee" before yer say anythin' else...... it's part o' the pirates' tradition y'know. If yer plannin' to be a radio pirate yer should always say "arrrrgggghhhhheeee" and cough up a bucket of spittle 'n stuff afore ye opens the microphone....... that way yer listeners won't be goin' deaf, or gettin' sick at the sound of yer rattlin' lungs. O' course we all know that the rattlin' lungs is caused by smokin' too much baccy when yer sittin' on the yardarm lookin' into the afternoon sun fer mermaids or lassies in two piece swim suits to come swimmin' by....... ye may never see one, but like all pirates ye can always hope.....and hope.....and hope!!

Another ting..... if yer a radio pirate ye should talk with a "mid-Atlantic pirate's accent"....... it sounds a lot like yer got yer tongue rolled around yer backside while yer a-heavin' up yer stomach in a bad storm......when yer finally gets de worrrds out they have distinctive.......arrrrrgggghhhhh.......sound to them..... trust me, it works!!

It also helps to drink lots and lots and lots of flagons of ale, rum, wine and whatever else makes ye sing and dance a jig or a hornpipe (us radio pirates always call it a horny pipe...har, har, har)..... pirates in the know call's drinkin' a tot o rum "Splicin' the mainbrace"...... remember that phrase... it's very, very important....arrrrrgghhhheee!

(Right: Steve in the 21st century, with Chris 'splice the audiotape' and Mary 'Knautical Knees' Payne.)

Well, dat's all fer now....... ceptin' me little ditty wot goes like this and should be sung to the tune of "Little Brown Jug"

I once was a pirate on the sea
I used to sit on the cap'n's knee
I thought he had a wooden leg
'til he tried to get me in his bed!

Yo ho ho and a hee hee hee
A radio pirate I once be.

Talkin on the wireless every day
Waitin' fer the day that I got me pay
Then I'd go to London town
And drink lots o' rum down and down!

Yo ho ho and a hee hee hee
I am really outta my tree.

Bein' a pirate's lots o' fun
Layin' on the poop deck in the sun
Drinkin ale and smokin' stuff
How could a life be so darn tough?

Yo ho ho and a hee hee hee
Don't ever sit on the cap'n's knee!

"Dum diddly um dum dum dumb!!!" (sung to the tune of "Shave and a haircut...two bits")

(the music and the singin' fades into the sunset as the pirate ship sinks slowly into the west and down into Davey Jones' Locker while the cap'n and his crew say.............arrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhh)

Avast ye varmints...........arrrrgggggghhhhhheeeeee!

Steve demonstrates the hardships of life aboard the Mi Amigo...

...and assists Peter and Gordon in dumping a troublesome wench in the briny.

Blackbeard Webby – a scurvy knave escaped from the Colonies.

After too long at sea, Long John Rosko goes berserk and attempts to interview his 'miner' bird, Alfie.


Ian MacstingRaeClose friend of Auntie Mabel – Radio City

A pirate captain was on the lookout for buried treasure. After months of hard sailing, day in and day out, his ship caught site of land, the land to which his treasure map had been leading. He and his first mate disembarked on the island to search out the buried treasure, which was supposed to lie hidden deep within a swamp at the centre of the island.

Sure enough, at the centre of the island was a swamp, and the Captain and his first mate bravely entered the swamp. Soon the swamp began to get deeper, and the pirates' feet, then ankles, and finally entire leg below the knees was covered in swamp. It was at that time that the Captain banged his shin against something hard. He reached down, searched around, and pulled up a treasure chest.

Prying the lock open, the chest revealed gold and jewels beyond imagination. The Captain turned to his first mate and said, "Arrrr, matey, that just goes to show ye, that booty is only shin deep!"

Maartin 'Barnacle Brains' KayneRadio Essex, 355, Caroline and Radio Northsea International

Hi there, mi hearties,

And there I was thinking you had discovered TW's secret stash of rum and Heineken Larger, that had delicately been placed in 'Davey Jones's locker' in case the DJs mutinied because of a disagreement over contents of the station's playlist.

With Big L's reputation, possibly supported by many Anoraks, surely to speak like a pirate (pop-pirate style) you need to acquire a mid-Atlantic or Australian accent.

'Shiver me timbers', Mary, you're gonna get twenty lashes while roped to the mizzen (main) mast... that is if the 50kW of RF doesn't completely grill you first. Still if you reveal where those golden oldies from the Radio London 'treasure chest' were concealed you may be let off with a good 'keel-hauling' and a week in irons in the ship's brig.

As for me, I will be in the captain's cabin madly chatting to the ship's parrot while rapidly counting my 'pieces of eight' that I just earned for doing a three-hour show. I suppose riding the waves sitting astride a heavily-loaded canon brings a whole new meaning to the phrase... a blast from the past.

Well I must go before the musket-toting boys from Big L catch up with me. After all, according to a certain BBC political journalist... he who sits on a 'powder keg' must surely expect someone to light the fuse. Ah, it's time to 'walk the plank'. (Cue diving board) SPLASH!

I think I have been sitting in the sunshine on Folkestone beach too long.

Maartin Kayne aka Andy Cadier.
Hythe FM: "Your Town Your Radio". Website:
RSL Supporting the Hythe (Kent) Venetian Fete.

Long John 'Purpleknees' Edward Radio London

It was more like: "Okay, let's get right down to it' and 'yup it's a real humdinger of a swinger', not to mention 'er' and maybe 'not arf' – whoops, no, he was a landlubber!

I'm sure there are some pirates that maybe spoke that way in their private moments... AAARRRR!


Mac 'The Knife' PetersRadio City

I hope you'll all be Jolly Rogering on Septembarrrrr the nineteenth. Perhaps the following is worth a small smile?

I call my wife 'treasure' because of her sunken chest and I, myself have avast behind...

We sing a lot of 'Yo-Ho-Ho' quite loudly in our house. There is no lock on the toilet door...

I have a patch over both my eyes... to stop them smoking...

When I saw 'X marks the spot' on the treasure map I thought someone was trying to forge the boss's signature...

"And where are my Buccaneers?"
"Under your buckin' '

If Long John Silver married Anne O'Rack would their offspring be Captain Kidds or the ship's barstewards?

If my jokes are so great, why am I not on the wireless any more? The old ones are the best... and you don't get much older than "The Teenage Pensioner" - Peter Madison, aka 'Mac Peters'!

Ian Macstingray (Below) repells boarders – a problem frequently encountered aboard Radio City

Maartin attempts to look respectable, but the eye-patch is a dead giveaway.

Long John 'Purpleknees' Edward (below) buries all the remaining copies of his #1 megahit, 'Save Yourrrr Love', by Renegade and Renaaataaa.


Mac 'The Knife' Peters prepares to run 'is audience through with his rapier wit.

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