Under-appreciated. Emotional. Irish. I’d like to think I’m two of those things, but the Pirate Queen musical gets all three 😉
So while recommending this soundtrack that I just can’t be rid of, I thought I’d share how we all are basicly pirate queens. Us creative souls, us dreamers, we can relate to the ups and downs of this epic voyage 🙂 I’ll go through the story song by song, so yes, major spoilers all spoilers basicly here. But I’ll be analyzing the theme of dreaming and how it applies to our lives along the way 🙂
Listen along with the full playlist free on YouTube here.
Bagpipes, just to make sure you remember this is an Irish musical.
The Pirate Queen
A new ship is christened The Pirate Queen. Grania (Grace) O’Malley, the daughter of the captain, sneaks aboard with her sailor love Tiernan.
Shocker? Grania doesn’t get to stay on the ship. Because? She’s a woman.
All of us are at some point denied our dream. All of us have something that disqualifies us from our dream: gender, age, personality, family, income.
“I’m almost your age / I’m your match in size. / I’m your match with swords, / an equal in most eyes. / But when you have a dream, / and you’re caught in its grip, / you can climb aboard a ship, / you can, / you can, / for you’re a man. / You can reach toward that place / where the earth meets the sky, / fight a battle, be brave, be true, / if you can do it, why not I?”
So what does Grania do when she’s told to stay home and wait for the men to save the day and return? She disguises herself as a cabin boy and becomes a stowaway, of course! Then a storm hits and Grania saves the day, exposing herself.
The captain, her father, is in a tight spot, punishing a stowaway or honoring a hero. He finally determines to let her stay through that voyage as a reward for her bravery.
“Who can even imagine the trials you will face / as you strive to live free?”
Keep fighting for that dream. Take whatever opportunities you have to prove your worth. Become a stowaway towards your dream and seize the opportunity!
Here on this Night
Grania and her love Tiernan are super excited (understatement) to get to be together. Their romance is a secret, but they’re together.
The Waking of the Queen
Two queens are revealed in this song.
First our Grania proves her worth yet again. England attacks and injures her father, so she takes charge and sinks the battling warship. Grania’s father recognizes her leadership, and begins to train her to be captain. She is dubbed the Pirate Queen.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth becomes Queen in England. Knowing women aren’t taken seriously as a leader, she decides to hide her femininity.
Noticing a pattern yet? The villainess has a similar storyline to Grania, not being taken seriously in her role because she’s a woman.
Everyone will have something to disqualify working towards a dream. If the Queen of England and the Queen of the Pirates were disqualified, what makes you think you won’t be?
Queen Elizabeth’s court tries to assure her everything is in “tip-top” shape, patronizing her as if she’s a little princess so as not to “bother the royal head.” When she presses, they admit that an Irish pirate ship had attacked. Upon further inquiry, they admit that the ship had a female captain – Grace O’Malley. Queen Elizabeth must show her power and commissions Lord Bingham to “crush” Ireland.
The Choice is Mine
With England warring against Ireland, the O’Malley clan must unite with rival O’Flaherty clan as one force, suggesting an arranged marriage between O’Malley’s daughter Grania and O’Flaherty’s son Donal.
Grania’s dream was to fight England, but this isn’t the way she planned. She would lose the love of her life, Tiernan, but also she would lose her freedom to be pirate at sea. It’s a time where she has to choose between the means and the end of her dream, and sacrifice.
We all will come across a chance, where what was seen as a detriment to our dream is actually a stepping stone to the cause we fight for. And we may be asked to sacrifice accordingly.
The irony is she is asked to do what only a woman can do, when all this time she’s been fighting to do what only a man is permitted to do. The cause would be won in doing what only a woman can, marrying and bearing a son to create an alliance.
“I fought so hard, / to carve a life that’s mine. / I love my land. / Where do I draw the line? A man cannot, / a woman can. / It’s cruel, the path / we are now forced to choose.”
Boys’ll Be Boys
This song is a fun little ditty that shows just what hubbie Donal is like. Donal and clan are at a tavern the night before the wedding (bachelor party? 🙂 ) and he is being teased about marrying a pirate “queen”. Donal claims he’ll tame her, and the guys are all about that, but the ladies bet on Grania giving him trouble.
Girls: “After the drums, / wedding night comes / who will come out alive? / She’s been captain, leading a crew, / She’s killed people, ran ’em right through. / Sorry, Donal, lad, I’m betting on her.”
Donal: “I’ll be rough when she needs it, / rough as seas ever were. / Up to now she’s been steering. / Now it’s time to steer her. / She’s confused about gender. / She’s been too long at sea. / I may well have to beach her, take her inland and teach her, / what a woman should be.”
In the end, Donal promises “marriage won’t change a thing” and he’ll still party. What a guy
And yep, they get married. Celebrate, complete with Irish dancing of course 🙂
I’ll Be There
“Go and marry a man you don’t love if that pleases you. / Throw away for a cause all the joys we have known. / Let his kiss keep you warm, I’ll be fine on my own.”
Tiernan is mad about Grania’s choice. However, his love for her remains, and he decides to stay with the O’Flaherty clan for when she needs him.
The dream does not start easily for these ladies. Your dream won’t come easy for you either. Grania and Elizabeth took a chance, a risk, and made it into their dream “industry” per se.
After all that work to even be considered for their dream, Grania’s marrying a jerk, England is warring. You guys, working toward a dream isn’t pretty from the get-go. You’ll be asked to sacrifice. Steve Kamb says in his book Level Up Your Life: “Great sacrifice is often required of the hero along his/her journey to achieve transformation and reach his or her full potential.”
My next blogposts (part 2 and part 3) show what happens to Grania and Elizabeth next. Until then, comment below how starting toward your dream is going for you.
- What external obstacles are you facing? (hopefully not an irate queen!)
- Who are your allies?
- What’s your dream and what’s an internal obstacle you face?
- What are you sacrificing?