MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

Pirate Song

Mrs. T. Ghaney NFLD 2 Tape 14A Track 2
Fermeuse Audio:
Ballad

LEACH: All right
MRS.GHANEY: (sings)

'Twas on one foggy winter's night and a foggy night it was
The weather as t'ick as buttermilk wit' a dew and a heavy fog
When Mannin’ like a hungry shark he ploughed the stormy sea
He ploughed the sea the whole long night until the break o’ day

Early the next morning just at the peep o' light
He spied a large and a lofty ship to loo'ard of them she lay
All hands all hands to quarters b'ys be ready now men make sail
For he is another homeward bound and I know he will prevail

Bearing down upon him and shearing up alongside
In a loud speaking trumpet where are you from he cried
Where are your __________ cried Mannin now l hope you'll tell me true
For we have lost our latitude about three days ago

Oh those poor fright mariners not knowing what to do
They were all resolved all for to tell him true
We're the "Fame" from New York came and to London we are bound
Our Captain's name is William Craig a native of the town

Now that won't do cried Mannin now that will never do
Come my honest fellows now come let your ship lie to
Now Craig he was a smart man and a man of courage bold
But when he saw his father's ship his very blood ran cold

Then those cruel pirates they all took sword in hand
They rushed aboard o' the merchant ship and murdered every man
They searched the same fight fore and aft they ransacked[sic] everything
Until they found this pretty young maid all in the mate’s cabin

Oh some they cursed and more they swore they'd have her for their wife
Now curse your souls cried Mannin now l soon will end this strife
Then he drew a sword all from his side wit'out either fear or dread
He rushed all on this lovely maid and slivered off her head

And then those cruel pirates not caring for what they had done
They rushed aboard of the pirate ship and jovially they sung
Wit’ brandy on their hats and caps so merrily they'd go round
At twelve o'clock that very night they made the ocean sound

But early the next morning just at the peep o' light
They spied another lofty ship to loo'ard of them she lay
All hands all hands to quarters now be ready now and make sail
For he is another homeward bound and l know he will prevail

Bearing down upon them and shearing up 'longside
In a loud speaking trumpet where are you from he cried
Where are you from cried Mannin l hope you'll tell us true
For we have lost our latitude about three days ago

But Rodney on the quarterdeck made no make of an answer

(Speaks): Oh, my now, I’m...Wait now sir ‘till l just think


(Sings): Fight on fight on for quarters for quarters de pirates they did cry
No quarters no quarters the man-o'-war men they replied

You got the best of quarters that we can afford
Fight sink or swim me b'ys or else jump overboard
Fight on fight on, my hero braves and never be dismayed
We’ll let them know before we to that Britain rules the main

(Speaks): That’s a comical end sir.


Notes


Text: The pirate Mannin lures ships close by claiming that he is lost. The first ship is ransacked, the crew murdered and young woman fought over before being beheaded. The second ship is a man-o-war and attacked the pirates, proving that the British rule the sea. The singer comments to Leach that this is a “comical ending.”

Tune: The text is through composed and the melody repeats with each verse. The meter is 4/4. The key is C major with an octave range based on G.

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