Y Kant Tori Read cover
Song from Y Kant Tori Read


July 1988




Atlantic Records


Tori Amos and Kim Bullard (words and music)


Joe Chicarelli

"Pirates" is the fifth song on Y Kant Tori Read's 1988 self-titled debut album.

Background Edit

Other appearances Edit

Comic Book Tattoo

A story inspired by "Pirates" was included in the 2008 graphic novel anthology Comic Book Tattoo, a collection of short comics based on Amos's songs.[1] The four-page "Pirates" was scripted by Ivan Brandon and penciled, inked, coloured, and lettered by Calum Alexander Watt.[2]

Comic Book Tattoo editor Rantz Hoseley was surprised by the duo's decision to interpret "Pirates". He noted in an interview that "Ivan’s a ‘cutting edge’ kind of writer ... and yet he’s wanting to do a song from Tori’s ‘hair band years’?!? I really couldn’t wrap my head around it, but I also trust he and Calum’s chops, so I let them run with it."[3]

Brandon and Watt's piece went through several stages of development. The character of the Pirate Captain originally resembled Amos's look on the cover of Y Kant Tori Read, but Watt, unsure of the reaction to this design, "went with your regular old spandex wearing, shaved headed sci-fi look".

Pirates - Comic Book Tattoo

Page from "Pirates".

Watt also reconsidered the treatment and design of the story, eventually deciding to base the story's look on illuminated manuscripts, first, because "[t]he track mentions Morocco, and Ivan and I had already discussed including this somehow. Secondly, the main moon panel got me looking at star charts. Together these lead me to illuminated manuscripts." The overall colour scheme for the piece was inspired by The Book of Kells.

Live performances Edit

"Pirates" was first performed live during the 2014 Unrepentant Geraldines Tour. A group of fans dressed up as pirates in the lobby of a show's venue to request the song, which Amos debuted that same night.[4]

Lyrics Edit

Personnel Edit

References Edit

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