The Cruel Ship's Captain
A boy to me was bound apprenticed
Because his parents they were poor.
So I took him from St. James' workhouse
All for to sail on the Greenland shore.
One day this poor boy he did annoy me
Nothing to him then did I say
But I rushed him to my frozen yardarm
And I kept him there 'til the very next day.
When his eyes and his teeth did hang toward me
With his hands and his feet bowed down likewise
And with a tarry gasket there I killed him
Because I wouldn't hear his cries.
Now all you sea captains that go out a-navyin'
Take a warning example by me
And don't misuse your young apprentice boys
Or else its hanged you'll surely be.
Rec. by A.L.Lloyd, Riverside RLP 12-635 "Thar She Blows" w/Ewan McColl
(per liner notes, early 19th C. from King's Lynn, England broadsheet