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The Flying Cloud

This song is by Ewan MacColl and appears on the compilation Sailors' Songs & Sea Shanties (2004).

My name is Arthue Hollander as you may understand
I was born ten miles from the Dublin town down on the Salt Sea Strand
When I was young comely sure and fortune on me shone
My parents loved me tenderly for I was their only son

My father he rose up one day and with him I did go
He bound me as butcher boy to Pearson of Wicklow
And I wore the bloody apron for three long years or more
Until I shipped on board the Ocean Queen, belonging to Tremore

It was on Bermuda's Isle that I met with Captain Moore
The Captain of the Flying Cloud the pride of Baltimore
I am the troop to ship with him on a slaving voyage to go
To the burning shores of Africa where the sugar cane does grow

It all went well until we came to Africa's shores
And five hundred of them poor slaves me boys from their native homes we _____
Each one was loaded down with chains as we made them walk below
Just eighteen inches space was all that each man had to show

The plague it came and fever too and killed them off like flies
We dumped their bodies on the deck and hove them in the sea
For sure the dead were lucky for they'd have to weep no more
Now drag the chain and field the lash in Cuba for ever more

But now our money it is spent we must go to see once more
But each man stayed to listen to the words of Captain Moore
"There is gold and silver to be had if with me you'll remain
Let's hoist the pirate flag and sweep the Spanish Main"

All agreed but three young men, so we put them on the shore
Two of them were Boston boys and the third came from Baltimore
Now I wish to God I'd joined those men, when they were set on shore
But I chose a wild and a reckless life, serving under Captain Moore

Well plundered many a gallant ship down on the Spanish Main
Killed many a man and left his wife and children to remain
To none we showed no kindness but gave them a watery grave
For the saying of our Captain was that dead men tell no tale

We ran and fought with many a ship, both frigates and liners too
Till at last a British man o' war the Dunmore hove in view
She fired a shot across our bows as we sailed before the wind
Then a chain shot cut our main mast down and we fell far behind

They beat our crew to quarters as she drew up alongside
And soon across our quarterdeck there ran a crimson tide
We fought until our Captain and twenty of our men
Then a bomb shell set our ship on fire we had to surrender then

It's now to Newgate we have come bound down in iron chains
For the sinking and plundering of ships down on the Spanish Main
The judge he found us guilty and we are condemned to die
Young men a warning by me take and shun all piracy

Then farewell Dublin city and the girl that I adore
I'll never kiss your cheek again or squeeze your hand no more
For whiskey and bad company have made a wretch of me
Young men a warning by me take and shun all piracy

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