MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Flying Cloud
John Molloy NFLD 2 Tape 20A Track 2
St. Shott's Audio:
Ballad

Come all ye rambling sailor lads come listen unto me
I'm heavy bound in irons to die for piracy
With eighteen more l am condemned in sorrow to complain
For plundering and burning ships down on the Spanish Main

When I was young and innocent my heart it knew no guile
In happy home l lived content my parents on me smiled
But drinking and bad company have made a wretch of me
Take warning all by my down fall beware of piracy

Now Edward Anderson is my name as you may understand
I was born in the town of Waterford in Erin's lovely land
My parents reared me tenderly in the fear of God likewise
But l never thought l'd die in scorn beneath Cuba's sunny skies

My father bound me to a trade in Waterford's fair town
He bound me to a cooper there his name was William Brown
l served my master faithfully for eighteen months or more
Then l shipped on board of the "Ocean Queen" bound for Valparaiso's shore

It happened in Valparaiso l fell in wit' Captain Moore
He commanded the clipper "Flying Cloud" sailing out of Baltimore
He hired me to sail wit' him on a slaving v'yage to go
To the burning shores of Africa where the sugar cane do grow

The flying cloud is a clipper barque five hundred tons or more
She can easily sail round any ship sailing out of Baltimore
I was ofttimes in that gallant ship with the wind abaft the beam
Wit' Royal and ________ set aloft taking sixteen from the reel

Her sails are as white as the driven snow and on them there's no speck
And seventy-five brass mounted guns she carries on her deck
Her iron chest and magazine is completely stowed below
She carries a bout chaser between her spars on a swivel it do go

We soon dashed o'er the raging main and landed safe on shore
And o'er five hundred of those poor slaves from their country home we tore
We dragged their bodies to our ship and put them down below
And it's eighteen inches to a man that's all we had to stow

We weighed our anchor put to sea our cargo it bein' slaves
Twould be far better for those men they were goin unto their graves
For the plague and fever came on board took half of them away
We dragged their bodies on the deck and threw them in the sea

It being in a short while after then we reached the Arabian shore
We sold them to a planter there they were slaves forevermore
To reap the rice and sugar fields beneat' the burning sun
For to drag away their wretched lives till their career was done

And when our money was all spent we came on board again
Captain Moore he come on deck and said to us his men
There's lots of money to be had far over on the main
And if ye'll agree my bully boys I'll tell ye how it's gained

We have as fast a sailing ship that ever skimmed the seas
Or ever spread a maintop sail before a lively gale
If ye'll agree my bully boys and with me do remain
We will run aloft a pirate flag and scour the Spanish main

All hands agreed but five bold youths we were ordered them to land
There were two of them from Boston two more from Newfoundland
The other was an Irish lad a native of Tremore(?)
Oh I wish to God l joined those men and went with them on shore

We robbed and plundered many a ship down on the Spanish main
Caused many a widow and orphan in sorrow to complain
We caused the crews to walk the plank hung over our ship's rail
And the cruel sayin's of our Captain b'ys "dead men they tell no tales"

We were ofttimes chased by men-o-war and lost by frigates too
But to overhaul the "Flying Cloud" it's a thing they could not do
For all in vain astern of us their cannons roared aloud
But they never could by any means overtake the "Flying Cloud'.

Until a Spanish man-o-war the "Don Ju'n" have in view
He fired a shot across our bow as a signal to heave to
We made to him no answer but ran before the wind
When a chance shot struck our mizzenmast we soon then fell behind

We cleared our decks for action then as she ranged up 'longside

[tape erased here]

____________________ deck flowed the crimson tide
We fought till Captain Moore was killed and twenty of his men
Then a bombshell set our ship on fire we all surrendered then

We were taken then as prisoners and into prison cast
We were tried and found guilty for to be hung at last
To see what I am come to by my unlucky hand
I'm sentenced to die for piracy by the laws of the Spanish land

Now farewell honoured mother your face I'll see no more
And farewell honoured true love it's you l do adore
I never will kiss your ruby lips nor press your lily-white hand
I am sentenced to die for piracy by the laws of the Spanish land


Notes

All material on this webpage is copyright © 2004, Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland. No unauthorized copying or use is permitted. For more information, follow this link.