Barret's Privateers

Words and Music : Stan Rogers

Oh the year was 1778,
How I wish I was in Sherbrook now,
When 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 Barret's privateers.

Well, Elcid Barret cried the town,
How I wish I was in Sherbrook now,
For twenty brave men, all fishermen who,
Would make for him the Antelope's crew.

                CHORUS

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

                CHORUS

On the king's birthday, we put to sea,
How I wish I was in Sherbrook now,
We were ninety-one days to Montego Bay,
Pumping like mad men all the way.

                CHORUS

On the ninety-sixth day, we sailed again,
How I wish I was in Sherbrook now,
When a bloody great 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 Sherbrook now,
She was was broad and fat and loose in the stays,
But to catch her took the Antelope two whole days.

                CHORUS

At length we stood two cables away,
How I wish I was in Sherbrook now,
Our cracked four-pounders made an awful din,
But with one fat ball, the Yank stove us in.

                CHORUS

Oh, the Antelope shook and pitched on her side,
How I wish I was in Sherbrook now,
Barret was smashed like a bowl of eggs,
And the main trunk carried off both me legs.

                CHORUS

Now here I lay in my twenty third year,
How I wish I was in Sherbrook now,
It's been six years since we sailed away,
And I just made Halifax yesterday.

                CHORUS