Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

A Collection of 200+ traditional songs & variations with commentaries including Lyrics & Sheet music

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324         Ballads and Songs of Michigan
Among the broadsides listed by W. C. Ford as printed in Massachusetts before 1800, No. 2919 concerns "Captain James who was hung and gibbeted in Eng­land, for starving to death his Cabin-Boy ...." Numbers 2920,2921, 2922, and 2922a are all called "Captain James." For a text with a similar story, but not at all identical lines, see Williams, pp. 26-29. See also JFSS, VII, 4-5. The present version is from the Gernsey manuscript.
1   Come all you noble bold commanders who the raging ocean use, By my fate I pray take warning your poor sailors don't abuse; Richard Peva was my servant, and a spritely lad was he;
His parents did a prentice bind him for to cross the raging sea. Twas on a voyage to Carolina and as we was returning home, Cruelly this boy I murdered; such a thing was never known. Twas some offense he gave unto me made my bloody heart to
rage; Then straightway to the mast I tied him; there I kept him many
2   With his arms and legs extended and him no succor did I give, Saying, "If any of my men relieve him, not one moment shall
they live." When three days I thus had kept him, he with hunger loud did
cry, "O for Christ sake now relieve me, or with hunger I shall die." Eighteen bitter stripes I gave him, which made the purple gore
to run; There was none that dare to save him, such a thing was never
known; When seven days I thus had kept him, he now with languish did
begin; Begging for a litde water, I some urine gave to him.
3   He- poor soul, refused to drink it which I prepared when I
had done; I made him drink the purple gore which from his wounded
limbs did run; O the cries he sent unto me would have pierced a Christian's
heart; Oftentimes he cried, "Dear master, did you know the cruel smart

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III