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Bold Princess Royal

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The Bold Princess Royal

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The Bold Princess Royal

On the fourteenth of April we sailed from the strand
In the bold Princess Royal, bound to Rio Grande.
We had not left the shore more than one day or two
A man from the main-top cried, "Sail ho in view."

She came bearing down on us with sail set so high;
On her main topmast black colors did fly.
"If it should be a pirate what are we going to do?
She'll give us a broadside, she'll soon heave us to!"

She came bearing down on us with sail set so neat;
With a loud-speaking trumpet to us he did speak.
Our captain jumped on deck and answered him so,
"I'm out from Gibraltar bound to Callao! "

"Back your maintops'l, heave your ship to!
I am a close pirate, I've a message for you."
"I'll back my maintops'l, I'll heave my ship to,
But 'twill be in some harbor, not alongside of you!"

We shook [out?] our close reefs, spread topgallant sails also;
With royals and skysails from the pirate we did go.
He chased us the whole day but held us no play
He brailed in the spanker and then bore away.

Now, all my brave boys, since the pirate has gone,
Here's a cask of good whiskey, another of rum.
Go down to your hammocks, boys; there drink till day,
For the bold Princess Royal from the pirate sailed away!

From Shantymen and Shanty-Boys, Doerflinger
Note: two tunes given are from the same source; second tune
  collected by Bayard.
DT #410
Laws K29
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III