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Treasure Island: 1. Skull and crossbones

Jim Hawkins lives and works at the Admiral Benbow Inn near Bristol. His life is dull and Jim dreams of adventure. Then one day a stranger calls at the inn and his life changes forever. The first song is a sailors' hornpipe with a little bit of pirate rap!

The story

Jim Hawkins and Billy Bones
You're a dead man walking...
Black Dog to Billy Bones

The mid-1700s... Jim Hawkins is 12 years old and works at the Admiral Benbow Inn, owned by his mother. One day an old sailor - Billy Bones - comes to stay. He warns Jim to keep an eye out for a pirate with a wooden leg. Two further visitors come to the inn: Black Dog, missing some fingers, who limps away after a fight with Billy Bones, and then the Blind Beggar - who hands Billy the notorious ‘black spot’. Its effect is immediate and Billy falls to the floor, dead. Later, Jim and his mother search through Billy's possessions and find an old map that he had been hiding from Black Dog and the Blind Beggar. But before Jim and his Ma have time to consider its importance a group of pirates attack the inn and they flee, taking the map with them...

The main characters

Name Who is...
Jim Hawkins Our hero - a 12 year old in search of adventure
Billy Bones A pirate on the run - because he has the treasure map
Squire Trelawney Self-appointed leader of the expedition to claim the treasure
Dr Livesey A friend of Squire Trelawney - though much more sensible and dependable
Captain Smollett The captain of the 'Hispaniola' - is injured by the pirates
Long John Silver The notorious leader of the pirates and part of Captain Flint's original crew...but forms a bond with Jim
Flint A legendary pirate...also Silver's parrot
Ben Gunn Marooned on Treasure Island
Hands One of the nastiest of the pirates

In the song tutorial

Timing Content
00 00 David Grant introduces the series and seven songs to learn.
00 57 Warming-up by chanting the words 'Yo ho ho and up she rises'.
01 39 Adding the melody to 'Yo ho ho and up she rises' to learn the chorus.
02 48 Learning Verse 1, beginning: 'In the heart of the blue Caribbean...' Listening to the verse phrase by phrase and repeating with the choir.
04 48 Learning Verse 2, beginning: 'The flag of the old skull and crossbones...' Verse 2 is sung to the same melody as Verse 1.
06 15 Learning the rap, beginning: 'Fifteen men on a dead man's chest...' Focusing on 'punching' out the words of the rap.
08 00 Singing Verses 1 and 2 and adding the rap to them. Considering the opening of the song - a hornpipe - and identifying the instruments.
09 47 Learning Verse 3, beginning: 'In the still of the night we drop anchor...' Verse 3 is sung to the same melody and Verses 1 and 2.

Story questions

How old is Jim and where does he work?

Jim is 12 years old and he works at the Admiral Benbow Inn on the Bristol Channel

What is the name of the old sailor who comes to stay at the Inn?

Billy Bones - a pirate on the run

What does Billy Bones tell Jim to keep a look out for?

An old sailor with one leg (he is referring to Long John Silver)

What is the cause of Billy Bones's death?

The 'black spot' which is handed to him by the Blind Beggar - the black spot was an invention by Robert Louis Stevenson

What do Jim and his Ma find in Billy Bones's possessions?

Some money...a fine suit of clothes...and the map!

Resources