I know A LOT about pirates. For instance, I know that they pillage and plunder and rifle and loot. I also know that they don't give a hoot about kidnapping or ravaging. And how do I know all of this? Certainly not from books. If there are books that mention pirates, I haven't read them. Turns out I'm not much of a reader. If not from books, then how? Well... pirates sang a song about it, of course. These pirates claim to be rascals, scoundrels, and such, but you don't see much to support that. What are the two things you always see pirates doing? Singing and dancing.
In Peter Pan, The Pirates of Penzance, The Pirate Movie, Muppet Treasure Island, and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride (which is based on the movie which is based on the ride), most of what we get is a kind of "Broadway at Sea." This fun-loving group of misfit marauders seems to be more interested in choreography than robbery.
What's with the terror in the faces of a ship's crew when they see a pirate ship raise its flag? Afraid of a pirate flag? Just pretend it's a disco ball... it means about the same thing (which, in retrospect, is indeed rather scary).
There is one pirate I know who doesn't sing or dance... he fixes track meets. Man, I love that movie! And that's who the middle pirate is based on.