MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Black
Richard Pennell NFLD 2 Tape 6 Track 1
Trepassey Audio:
Ballad

I’ll tell you a trick that was played on last evening
To a medical doctor that lived in our town
And by able seamen was duly outwitted
And fifty bright shillings he had to lay down

Those jolly jack tars _____________ being groggy
Their money all spent and their credit near run
From Westmorland (?) street to the quay where they rambled
They were bound to procure either money or rum

The cook of our ship he being one for the party
Stout fellow was he his colour was black
For wit and contrivance he was always ready
To find out a way to get cash in a crack

Said he to his messmates l heard people saying
That corpse can be sold very readily here
So take me alive sew me up in my hammock
And sell me to get either whiskey or beer

The sailors agreed and accepted the offer
And straightway they went where a doctor did dwell
And into his ears they boldly did whisper
Dear doctor we have a fine corpse for to sell

The corpse ________ they're all in the basement
Where did you get him came tell me I pray
If you'll bring him here safely I’ll buy him quite readily
And fifty bright shillings to you l will pay

The sailors agreed and accepted the offer
And straightway they went to their ship to prepare
Oh pray pay attention to what I will mention
For soon you will hear what they meant to do there

They sewed up the black quite tight in his hammock
Stout fellow was he both sturdy and strong
And into his pocket by way of protection
A knife with a blade a half a yard long

Twelve o'clock was cried out and the streets they were silent
[Rest of this verse is obscured by noise on the tape]

The doctor he paid down the silver money
They told him their cook sir he died on the sea
And sooner than have his dead body to bury
We sold him to you sir he's out of our way

The sailors went off to a tavern a-drinking
Where they all agreed the black for to meet
Oh pray pay attention to all I will mention
The best of my story I’ve yet to relate

The doctor went off for his tools to dissect him
And quickly came back with a saw in his hand
He went to the room where the black man was lying
The black with a cutlass quite ready did stand

He went to the room where the black man was lying
Thinking he had a very rich find
The black man he hailed him with a voice loud as thunder
Saying Darn your eyes doctor don't dissect me alive

The black man went off for to meet his comrades
The rest of the night was merrily spent


Notes

 

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