Henry's Songbook

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Barratt's Privateers

  • (Stan Rogers)

    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 the Halifax Pier
    The last of Barratt's privateers

    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'd ever seen

    Well Elcid Barratt cried the town
    How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now
    For twenty brave men, bold fishermen who
    Would make for him the Antelope's crew

    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

    On the ninety-sixth day we sailed away
    How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now
    When a bloody great Yankee hove in sight
    With our cracked four-pounders we made to fight

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

    Here I lie in my twenty-third year
    How I wish I was in Sherbrooke now
    It's six years since we sailed away
    And I just made Halifax yesterday

    (Halifax, Sherbrooke - towns in Nova Scotia)

    (as sung by The McCalmans)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1978:] The story takes place during the American War of Independence. The King was George III of England. The 'Letters of Mark' were permission to equip gun boats to attack American ships. (Notes Bill Price, 'I Sing As I Please')

  • [2002:] Our choice of repertoire and approach to performance have influenced a number of performers, including the late Stan Rogers. The story of "Barratt's Privateers" is a case in point. Fairly early in his career, Stan's repertoire reflected that of the coffeehouse circuit where he did most of his playing, and to that point, little of the music of his maritime roots. At one festival in Sudbury Ontario, at an after hours party, the Friends [of Fiddler's Green] were holding forth with the usual selection of noisy chorussy stuff that tends to dominate such events. Stan had little to contribute, and it obviously bothered him, for he left fairly early (for him) in a bit of a huff. He arrived at breakfast the next morning and threw a sheet of paper with the words of "Barratt's Privatreers" on the table in front of us, uttering the memorable words, "Suck that back you limey bastards!" We like to think we helped him find his muse. Stan was a great pal, and we miss him. (Alistair Brown, Living Tradition 46, 19 f.)

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Quelle: Canada

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aktualisiert am 02.04.2010, 02.04.2003