MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Stowaway
Cyril O'Brien NFLD 2 Tape 8A Track 6
Trepassey Audio:
Ballad

LEACH: Okay
O'BRIEN:(sings)

From Liverpool across the Atlantic
Our good ship plowed over the deep
Wit' the skies bright with sunshine above us
And the waters beneath us asleep

Not a bad-tempered mariner amongst us
Nor a jollier crew ever hailed
Except the first mate a bit of a savage
Yet good a seaman as ever yet sailed

One day as he came from below deck
And grasping a lad by the arm
A poor little ragged young urchin
Who ought to be home with his mom

The mate asked the boy pretty roughly
How he dared for to stow away
Cheating the owners and Captain
Eating sailing and all with out pay

The boy had a face bright and winning
And a pair of dark eyes like a girl
Looked up at the scolding first mate boys
And shook back a long shining curl

And he said in a voice clear and pretty
My stepfather brought me on board
He stowed me away down below decks
For to keep me he couldn’t afford

Its a lie said the mate not your father
But some of dose big skulkers here
Some milk-headed softhearted sailor
Speak lad tell the truth don’t you hear

The boy had a face bright and winning
And shining wit’ innocent youth
Looked up at the scolding first mane b’ys
And said sir I’ve told you the truth

Twas of no use the mate wouldn’t believe him
Though everyone else did on board
Rough hands by the collar he seized him
And cried you shall die by the lord
Then the mate drew a watch from his pocket
As if he were drawing a knife
If in ten minutes more you don't speak lad
Here's a rope and good-bye to your life

Eight minutes went by all in silence
The mate said now lad say your say
His eyes slowly filling with teardrops
He faltered and said may I pray

Then the little chap knelt on the deck there
And clasped his two hands on his breast
As he must oft have done when at home b'ys
At night before going to rest

At the first came the words 'Our Father'
Low and clear from that dear baby's lips
Though low as they were, like the trumpet
They did sound to each man on the ship

Off his knees was the lad sudden lifted
And pressed to the mate's rugged breast
His husky voice muttered 'God Bless you'
As his lips to his forehead he pressed

You believe me now sis said the youngster
Believe you he kissed him once more
You have laid down your life for the truth lad
l believe you for now evermore

(speaks) Did l sing as much o' that


Notes

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