Barrett's Privateers

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Song by Stan Rogers that caught on in the Forum largely due to its constant recital by Mikey Andrews. It's available on Stan Rogers' 1976 Fogarty's Cove album.

It's quite depressing actually.

Lyrics

O the year was 1778
How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now
A letter of marque came from the king
To the scummiest vessel I've ever seen

God damn them all
I was told we'd cruise the seas for American gold
We'd fire no guns, shed no tears
Now I'm a broken man on a Halifax pier,
The last of Barrett's Privateers

O Elcid Barrett cried the town
How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now
For twenty brave men all fishermen who
Would make for him the Antelope's crew
God damn them all . . . .

The Antelope sloop was a sickening site
How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now
She'd list to the port and her sails in rags
And the cook in the scuppers with the staggers and jags
God damn them all . . . .

On the King's birthday we put to sea
How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now
Ninety-one days to Montego Bay
Pumping like madmen all the way
God damn them all . . . .

On the ninety-sixth day we sailed again
How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now
When a great big Yankee hove in sight
With our cracked four-pounders we made to fight
God damn them all . . . .

The Yankee lay low down with gold
How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now
She was broad and fat and loose in stays
But to catch her took the Antelope two whole days
God damn them all . . . .

Then at length she stood two cables away
How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now
Our cracked four-pounders made awful din
But with one fat ball the Yank stove us in
God damn them all . . . .

The Antelope shook and pitched on her side
How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now
Barrett was smashed like a bowl of eggs
And the main truck carried off both me legs
God damn them all . . . .

Now here I lay in my twenty-third year
How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now
It's been six years since we sailed away
And I just made Halifax yesterday
God damn them all . . . .

Links

Barrett's Privateers