Modern Street Ballads


To a New York Trader, I did belong,
She was well built, both stout and strong,
Well rigg’d, well mann’d, well fit for sea,
Bound to New York in America.

On the first of March then did we sail,
With a sweet, and a pleasant gale,
Like hearts undaunted, we put to sea,
Bound to New York in America.

Our cruel Captain as we did find,
Left half of our provisions behind,
Our cruel captain, as we did understand,
Meant to starve us all, before we made the land.

At length our hunger grew very great,
We had but little on board to eat,
And we were in necessity,
All by our Captain’s cruelty.

Our Captain in his cabin lay,
A voice came to him, and thus he did say,
Prepare yourself and ship’s company,
For to-morrow night with me you shall lay.

Our Captain woke in a terrible fright,
It being about the first watch of the night,
Aloud for the boatswain, he straightly did call,
And to him related the secret all.

Boatswain, said he, it grieves me to the heart,
To think that I’ve acted a villain’s part,
To take what was not my lawful due
To starve my passengers and the ship’s crew.

There’s one more thing I have to tell,
When I in Waterford town did dwell,
I killed my master, a merchant there,
All for the sake of his lady fair.

I killed my wife and children three,
All through that cursed jealousy,
And on my servant I laid the blame,
And hang’d he was, all for the same.

Captain, said he, if that be so,
Pray, let none of your ship’s crew know,
But keep the secret within your breast,
And pray to God to give you rest.

Early next morning a storm did rise,
Which our seamen did much surprize.
The sea was over us, both fore and aft,
That scarce a man on deck was left.

Then the boatswain he did declare
That our Captain was a murderer,
It so enraged all the ship’s crew,
They overboard the Captain threw.

When this was done, a calm was there,
Our good-like ship homeward did steer,
The wind abated and calmed the sea,
And they sailed safe to America.

When we came to anchor there,
Our good-like ship for to repair,
The people wondered much to see
What a poor distress’d big wreck were we.

<< The Greenland Whale Fishery   Viva Victoria >>

The End As I Know It: A Novel of Millennial Anxiety, by proprietor Kevin Shay, is now available in paperback.

Please visit for more information.