Barrett’s Privateers

oh the year was 1778
how i wish i was in sherbrooke now
a letter of mark came from the king
to the scummiest vessel i’d 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

oh 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
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

the antelope sloop was a sickening sight
how i wish i was in sherbrooke now
she’d a lit to the port and her sails in rags
and the cook in the scuppers with the staggers and jags
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

on the king’s birthday we put to sea
how i wish i was in sherbrooke now
we were ninety-one days to montego bay
pumping like madmen all the way
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

on the ninety-sixth day we sailed again
how i wish i was in sherbrooke now
when a bloody great yankee hove into sight
with our cracked four pounders we made to fight
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

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
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

and at length we stood two cables away
how i wish i was in sherbrooke now
our cracked four pounders made an awful din
but with one fat ball the yank stove us in
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

the antelope shook and pitched on her side
how i wish i was in sherbrooke now
barret was smashed like a bowl of eggs
and the main truck carried off both me legs
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

so here i lay in my twenty-third year
how i wish i was in sherbrooke now
its been six years since we sailed away
and i just made halifax yesterday
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

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