Hoist the Colors
Hans Zimmer Lyrics


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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, all 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

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!

The bell has been raised
From it's watery grave...
Do you hear it's sepulchral tone?
We are a call to all,
Pay head the squall
And turn your sail toward home!

Yo, ho, all together,
Hoist the colours high




Heave ho, thieves and beggars,
Never shall we die!

Overall Meaning

The opening lines of "Hoist the Colors" tell the story of a ruthless king and his men who have stolen a queen from her bed and imprisoned her. She is described as being bound in her bones, indicating that she is helpless and unable to escape her captors. However, the following lines suggest that the pirates, who are the singers of the song, have no sympathy for the queen but instead revel in the fact that the seas belong to them and that they can roam freely. The use of "yo, ho" is often associated with piracy and is thought to have originated from the French for "hear him" or "yohoe".


The chorus of the song is a rallying cry for all pirates to come together and hoist their colors high, indicating their allegiance to one another and their way of life. The line "thieves and beggars, never shall we die" seems to celebrate their outlaw status, suggesting that they will never give up their freedom even if it means they will eventually meet their demise.


The third verse acknowledges that many pirates have lost their lives, while others continue to sail the seas with the keys to the cage, which could refer to the ability to escape imprisonment or to the valuable loot they have stolen. The line "we lay to Fiddler's Green" is a reference to a mythical afterlife for sailors who died at sea, where they would have eternal happiness and good times.


The final verse is a call to all sailors to pay attention to the bell, indicating rough seas ahead, and to turn their sails towards home. The line "heave ho" is a nautical command to put all your strength into heaving something, usually a heavy object. The chorus is repeated one last time as a final rallying cry for all the pirates to hoist their colors high and to never give up their way of life.


Line by Line Meaning

The king and his men
A group of men, led by the king, stole the queen from her bed


Stole the queen from her bed,
The queen was taken from her bed by the king and his men


And bound her in her bones
The queen was tied up and restrained in her body


The seas be ours,
We will conquer and control the seas


And by the powers,
By our own strength and ability


Where we will, we'll roam
We will wander wherever we please


Yo, ho, all together,
An exclamation of encouragement and unity among the crew


Hoist the colours high
Raise the flag to show our strength and determination


Heave ho, thieves and beggars,
We are calling on all members of our crew, regardless of their status or background


Never shall we die
We will never give up, even if it means facing death


Some men have died
Some members of our crew have already lost their lives


And some are alive
Others are still alive and fighting


And others sail on the sea
Some members of our crew continue to travel and explore the sea


With the keys to the cage...
They hold the key to freeing themselves or someone else from captivity


And the Devil to pay
There will be serious consequences for their actions


We lay to Fiddler's Green!
We will find peace and rest in the afterlife


The bell has been raised
A warning or signal has been sounded


From it's watery grave...
The bell was previously underwater


Do you hear it's sepulchral tone?
Can you hear the eerie sound it's making?


We are a call to all,
We are calling out to all who can hear us


Pay head the squall
Be aware of and prepare for the stormy weather


And turn your sail toward home!
It's time to return to safety and familiarity




Contributed by Elijah P. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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