Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Barrett's Privateers

A recent addition to our songlist, we performed a version of this great song at the Square and Compass last week

Barrett's PrivateersStan Rogers

Oh, the year was 1778,
     How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!
A letter of marque came from the King
To the scummiest vessel I’ve ever seen.

Refrain:
God damn them all!
I was told we’d cruise the seas for American gold
We’d fire no guns, shed no tears.
Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier,
The last of Barrett’s Privateers.

Oh, Elcid Barrett cried the town
     How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!
For twenty brave souls, all fisherman, who
Would make for him the Antelope’s crew.

The Antelope sloop was a sickening sight
     How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!
She'd a list to port and her sails in rags
And the cook in the scuppers with the staggers and jags.

On the king’s birthday we set to sea
      How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!
It was ninety-one days to Montego Bay
Pumping like madmen all the way.

On the ninety-sixth day we sailed again
      How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!
When a bloody great Yankee hove in sight
With our cracked four-pounders we made to fight.

Oh, the Yankee lay low down with gold
     How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!
She was broad and fat and loose in stays
But to catch her took the Antelope two whole days.

Then at length we stood two cables away
     How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!
Our cracked four-pounders made an awful din
But with one fat ball the Yank stove us in.

Oh, the Antelope shook and pitched on her side
     ( "How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!")
Oh Barrett was smashed like a bowl of eggs
And the maintruck carried off both me legs.

So here I sit in my twenty-third year
     ( "How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now!")
It’s been six years since I sailed away
And I just made Halifax yesterday.

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