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Cumberlands Crew

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The Cumberland's Crew

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The Cumberland's Crew

Now then, shipmates, come gather and join in my ditty
Of a terrible battle that's happened of late
When each Union tar shed a tear of sad pity
When he heard of the once-gallant Cumberland's fate.

O, the eighth day of March told a terrible story
And many brave tars to this world bid adieu,
Our flag it was wrapped in a mantle of glory
By the heroic deeds of the Cumberland's crew.

On the ill-fated day, about ten in the morning,
The sky it was clear and bright shone the sun.
The drums of the Cumberland sounded a warning
That told every seaman to stand by his gun.

Then an ironclad frigate down on us came bearing,
And high in the air the Rebel flag fiew.
The pennant of treason she proudly was wearing,
Determined to conquer the Cumberland's crew.

Then up spoke our captain with stern resolution,
Saying, "Boys, of this monster, now, don't be afraid (dismayed)
We've sworn to maintain our beloved Constitution,
And to die for our country we are not afraid'"

Our noble ship fired, our guns dreadfully thundered;
Our shot on the Rebel like hail we did pour.
The people on shore gazed, struck with terror and wonder,
As our shot struck her side and glanced harmlessly o'er.

Now, the pride of our Navy can never be daunted,
Though the dead and the wounded our decks they did strcw
"We'll die at our quarters or conquer victorious: ''
Was answered in cheers by the Cumberland's crew.

"We've fought for the Union, our cause it is glorious.
To the Star Spangled Banner we'll ever prove true.
We'll be wept for by Columbia's brave sons and fair daughters
And never forgotten,"  sang the Cumberland's crew.

From Shanteymen and Shanty Boys, Doerflinger

Note: The Cumberland was the first (of two) victim of the
 Confederate ironclad Merrimac (renamed Virginia). The battle
 occurred on March 8, 1862, the day before the Merrimac fought
 the North's armored Monitor to a more-or-less draw.

DT #366
Laws A18
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III