Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

3 Centuries Of Naval History In Shanties & Sea Songs With Lyrics & Notes

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All hands being at quarters to work we did begin;
The first broadside she gave us down our topsailyards did
come. Our captain call'd, ' Don't be afraid, but fight away, like men; It never shall be said, my boys, that we will run from them.' We'll go, etc.
Our guns being few in number, the number being but five, To fire them it is needless till we can him espy. He play'd upon our bow and quarter; the shot it came like hail: To get our guns to bear upon him made us both curse and rail. We'll go, etc.
Our guns set for the best advantage alongside they did come. We said we need not fire till execution [could] be done ; As soon as they bore upon him we immediately let drive, And wounded three of his Irishmen. 'Tis a pity we left them alive. We'll go, etc.
Our captain walked the quarterdeck like a lion stout, Cry'd, ' Don't let it be said, my boys, we cowardly give it out.' Our running ropes, sails, and rigging being all shot away, Our ship in this condition could neither wear nor stay. We'll go, etc.
We fought them five glasses, but found it all in vain ; You see she carries 18 guns and we're sure for to be taken; Our captain cry'd, ' What must we do ? To strike it will be best; The cutter never will leave us until they see us lost.' We'll go, etc.
Then seeing us an inferior force they unto us did shout, Saying, ' You poor English dogs, why don't you give it out ?' We found it was in vain to fight; down colours we did hawl ; ' Hoist out your boat and come aboard' [unto] us, they did call. We'll go, etc.
O then our captain went aboard, and part of our noble crew. They beat the captain on the head and swore they would run
him through; Now into their hold they put us, bound into irons strong, And for twelve days they kept us where we were thick and
throng. We'll go, etc.