Songbook Barretts Privateers

A modern folk song in the style of a sea shanty, written and performed by Canadian musician Stan Rogers

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

Chorus:
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

Chorus

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

Chorus

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

Chorus

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
Chorus:

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

Chorus

Then at length we 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

Chorus

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

Chorus

So 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

Chorus

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