Jack Sparrow’s Song From ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Started With Just 3 Notes

Most Pirates of the Caribbean songs start from the same three notes, even if composer Hans Zimmer “deconstructed” this theme for the third movie in the franchise. Here’s what the musician said about Jack Sparrow’s song.

Hans Zimmer wrote the music for Disney’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’

Actor Johnny Depp, dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow, of 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest'
Actor Johnny Depp, dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow, of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’ | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

It’s a Disney theme park attraction-turned feature film. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl told the story of the worst pirate you’ve ever heard of (but you have heard of him) — Jack Sparrow. 

On his quest to reunite with his beloved ship, the Black Pearl, this character meets Elizabeth and Will and a few old friends/pirates. Because it was so successful, Disney built this film into a franchise, with the theme park attraction being updated to reflect the film’s story.

This movie also featured a beloved soundtrack created by Hans Zimmer – the artist behind The Lion King’s instrumental tracks and the soundtrack for films Interstellar, Dune, and The Dark Knight Rises.

Most songs from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ start with the same three notes

During an interview with Soundtrack.net, this artist explained the origins of Jack Sparrow’s theme, as well as a recurring theme in the music of Pirates of the Caribbean. Although it has a complex score, most songs from this film begin with the three notes. 

“Well, all the tunes in the movie start with the same three notes,” Zimmer said, “which is fun when you have a meeting with Gore, and he’s like, ‘well, why don’t we use that other tune?’ And I’d be like ‘which other tune?’ and he’d have to sing past the first three notes for us to figure out which one we were talking about!”

“Jack Sparrow” from the Dead Man’s Chest soundtrack currently holds over 15 million Spotify plays, while “He’s A Pirate” from the original film has over 115 million plays on the music platform. 

Hans Zimmer composed the soundtrack to other ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies

After his work on Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Hans Zimmer returned to compose Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End. While writing the “big theme” for the third movie in the franchise, this artist explained why he still somewhat used the same three notes.

“I’m deconstructing them completely,” Zimmer said. “But it’s like, Beckett has those three notes, Davy Jones has those three notes, and Jack Sparrow has those three notes. Everybody has those three notes! So I’ve figured out a way of completely deconstructing them. It’s fun to see what you can do with just three notes.”

Music from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is available on most major streaming platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music.

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